`Pak decides against Indian offer of power supply`

Last Updated: Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 21:49

Islamabad: Pakistan has reportedly
decided not to take up an Indian offer to supply electricity
because of strategic reasons, with officials claiming such a
move could give "legitimacy" to disputed power projects in
Jammu and Kashmir.

The Senate or upper house of parliament was informed
yesterday by Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar that his
ministry was considering the Indian offer to sell electricity.

In a written reply, he said the government is trying
to determine if the proposal is feasible.

However, the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as
saying that officials had already decided not to proceed with
the offer "because doing so could lend legitimacy to the
Indian power projects" in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Pakistan has already filed appeals against the
Kishanganga hydropower project in the Court of Arbitration at
The Hague," said an unnamed official of the power ministry.

The next hearing is expected to be held in the first
week of August.

"India has massive electricity shortages but they want
to sell some power to Pakistan. This will strengthen their
claims in the court that they are producing cheap electricity
and sharing the gains with Pakistan," the official claimed.

During talks between the Commerce Secretaries of India
and Pakistan in April, the two sides agreed to set up a group
of experts to examine the feasibility, scope and modalities
for a new initiative to enable trade of electricity.

Power Minister Qamar said the working group had been
formed by his ministry.

Another unnamed official of the commerce ministry told
the Dawn the issue of fuel trade between India and Pakistan
had been discussed since 2008 but no progress was made for
various reasons.

The Senate was informed that Pakistan imports 39 MW of
electricity from Iran while the project to import 1,000MW
electricity from Iran for Gwadar port is expected to be
operational by 2012.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 21:49

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