Pak-Iran gas pipeline to meet country’s energy needs: Zardari

P_zardari

President Asif Ali Zardari Monday said that the Pakistan-Iran pipeline project was motivated by the need to meet the country’s growing energy needs and was not against any other country.

The President, while inaugurating three separate projects here at the Governor House, said the two newly completed hydel projects of Allai Khwar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Jinnah Hydro Project in Punjab, along with the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, should be seen as measures to overcome power shortage in the country.

He said Pakistan needed to exploit all available resources, particularly the low cost hydel power, besides exploring ways and means to import power and energy from its neighbouring countries.

President Zardari said Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project was one such endeavour of the government, which would be formally launched on March 11.

The inaugural ceremony was attended among others by Punjab Governor Makhdoom Syed Ahmad Mahmood, Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, members of parliament and Punjab Assembly, Chairman WAPDA, members of the civil society and high ranking officials.

Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said the President highlighted the growing needs for energy resources to accelerate national growth.

The President said Pakistan was a sovereign country and had every right to pursue projects in national interest and did not intend to offend any one.

Pakistan, he said, was an active player in contributing to worldpeace and stability and the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline should be viewed purely in the context of meeting its energy needs.

He hoped the critics of the project would appreciate Pakistan’s energy requirements and the need for importing gas. He expressed the confidence that by pursuing people centric policies Pakistan would soon overcome its energy problem.

The President said the prsent government was fully alive to the woes of general public, business persons and industrialists for the power and energy shortages, which it had inherited.

He said addition of Allai Khwar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Jinnah Hydropower Project in the Punjab would help mitigate its energy shortage to some extent.

He said the government had drawn up plans to not only meet the current electricity needs but also cater to the future needs and for this purpose it had undertaken more than two dozen hydro power projects all over the country.

These included mega projects like Basha Dam, Neelum Jhelum, Dasu and Tarbela 4th Extension Project.

Morover Gomal Zam Dam, Satpara Dam, Dubair Khwar and Jabban Hydropower Projects were nearing completion.

He said after completion, these projects would provide 21,000 MW additional electricity and store 13 million acre feet of water.

This will bring down the cost of manufacturers and make Pakistani products more competitive in the global market, he said.

Inaugurating the dry port, the President said it was a bold initiative of Pakistan Railways to enter vigorously into private public partnership.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013

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