`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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