Friday, May 14, 2010

Pakistan-Iran Power Project

Pakistan and Iran have agreed on getting the 1,000 MW power import project off the ground. In this regard, it has been decided that energy experts of both the countries will hold meetings every two months so that the import of power from Iran to Pakistan could be ensured in the least possible time. On the other hand, the Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that Pakistan is desirous of immediate implementation of the project of importing 1,000 MW power from Iran.

An Iranian delegation, led by Syed Amir Mansour, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister; met Raja Pervez Ashraf, Federal Minister for Water and Power. It was informed during the meeting that work on three different power import projects between Pakistan and Iran are in progress. In the first project, 39 MW of power will be imported; while, in second 100 MW and in third project 1,000 MW will be imported to Pakistan.

It is a fact that, in addition to several other crises, the incumbent government has inherited power crisis too.. However, the question is whether the incumbent government will be able to satisfy the nation in this regard by holding the previous governments responsible for the energy crisis?

Taking Practical Steps
Certainly not, because the nation understands well that the present power shortage is not something that has happened today; rather, it has in its background the mistakes committed by the previous governments. However, today when the incumbent government has completed two years, the nation also asks, what steps have been taken so far in this regard other than giving different dates of overcoming power cut? Moreover, when it was already too late, a conference regarding power crisis was called and this issue was discussed for the two days. However, the conference did not produce the results that the nation had hoped for.

Instead of taking practical steps in order to overcome power shortage and energy crises, suggestions of weekend holidays and closure of markets at 20 hrs are given. Although, such steps will surely save power, it is not a long-lasting solution. How long will it work?

On one hand, the dragon of power cut has swallowed national economy and, on the other, hefty power bills have buried the poor people alive. On one hand, the power cut duration has risen up to 18 hours [a day]; and on the other, while obeying the International Monetary Fund (IMF) orders, the government has raised power charges to a level where the poor people cannot spare money for household expenses after paying these bills.

God has enriched Pakistan with natural resources; however, regrettably, there is no sincere leadership that should benefit from these natural resources and should let the country prosper. The international imperialists have entangled the poor countries, especially the Muslim countries and Pakistan, in a net so that the Zionist imperialists have not only confiscated our sovereignty, but we also cannot benefit from our natural resources. In their lust for power, the ineligible leaders of the Muslim world have mortgaged their sovereignty and economy to the international powers. That is why Muslim world is dependant on the international powers, in spite of being rich in natural resources. A small Jewish country, Israel, despite being surrounded by Muslim countries from all sides, has occupied the Muslims' Jerusalem for so many years. And it is patronized by the United States. The Muslims cannot free themselves from Israel despite being large in number.

Impact of War on Terror
The matter of fact is that these very powers are hampering Pakistan-Iran gas and power projects because they cannot see any Islamic country achieving economic independence, especially, if we consider the hostile role that the United States is playing behind the cover of being Pakistan's friend, it will be obvious that a country like Pakistan, which is rich in natural resources, is faced with economic crisis only because of playing the role of a frontline ally in the so-called war on terror. The United States itself does not fulfill its claims and promises of giving aid. Moreover, if Pakistan wants betterment of its economy and signs accords with other Muslim countries to resolve its energy crises, the very United States is creating hindrances.

India had also partnered Iran gas pipeline project in the past; however, it backed off owing to the US pressure whereas Pakistan and Iran inked the gas pipeline project; however, the United States does not want completion of the said project. The United States does not want to see Pakistan-Iran power projects growing up. It is the very cause why these projects are being delayed. As far as India is concerned, the United States has already penned civil nuclear accord with India. In this regard its behavior toward Pakistan is very obvious. Despite playing the role of a frontline ally in war against terrorism and sacrificing thousands of troops and ruining our economy, Pakistan could not attain the status it deserves.

Demand of the Situation
In such a situation, the government should try to strengthen its relations with every country so that power shortage could be overcome and our economy could prosper. In this regard, it is vital to design short-term and long-term plans. This crisis cannot be overcome by two weekly holidays and closure of markets at 2000 hrs. We will have to find a lasting solution to this problem.

As far the power shortage is concerned, Dr Ishfaq is of the view that if the government utilizes the coal reserves present in Thar, we can produce 50,000 MW of power for so many years. It will not only be adequate for national needs, but we can also earn handsome foreign exchange by selling it to other countries. In this regard, we will have to forget all political conflicts in order to build new dams only in national interest. We will have to give precedence to the solar energy projects and will have to benefit from all available sources of power generation so that our industries and factories should continue working, the country should stand independent in agriculture and thus the wheel of economy may never stop.

The demand of the situation is that without falling victim to any kind of pressure regarding power projects with Iran, decisions should only be taken in national interests. Moreover, immediate steps should be taken to exercise power projects with Iran as soon as possible.

No comments: