Thar is future energy hub of Pakistan: Mushahid
The Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), led by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, paid a 3day visit to the province of Sind on January 28-30, 2016 and visited CPEC projects.
The Parliamentary Committee first visited Port Qasim coal power project which is progressing fast and which, upon completion, will produce 1320 MG electricity.The members of the Committee had a detailed briefing and visited the actual site and saw the progress being made. The members expressed satisfaction with the pace of work and progress of the project. Later, the Parliamentary Committee called on the Chief Minister of Sind, Syed Qaim Ali Shah and briefed him about the purpose of the visit and the working of the committee.
Senator Mushahid Hussain said
that the CPEC is a strategic, national project which is above any person, above any party, above any province and above any government because it has a span of 15 years and this project will unite the federation of Pakistan through progress and prosperity in various fields of economic and social development.
The Parliamentary Committee also raised some issues pertaining to the Port Qasim power project with the Chief Minister, who promised to fulfill and cooperate in its completion. The Sindh government also presented their proposals regarding energy and economic development and Senator Mushahid Hussain assured them that there concerns would be raised in the Committee. In this context, the Finance Minister of Sind, Syed Murad Ali Shah was invited to attend the next meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC in Islamabad and he promised to come with his team to present their perspective regarding energy projects and the proposal for a port at Keti Bandar.
Senator Mushahid Hussain also paid a courtesy call on Governor of Sind, Dr. Ishratul Ibad Khan at the Governor's House and also briefed him on the work of the Committee. The Governor noted with satisfaction the work of the Parliamentary Committee and said that CPEC was the guarantor for Pakistan's future progress. Next day, the Parliamentary Committee traveled by road to Thar and visited Mithi and Islam Kot and visited the first project in Pakistan devoted to generating energy through its indigenously mined coal.
Senator Mushahid Hussain told the Chinese and Pakistan experts working on the site that the Committee had decided to visit the site personally and the parliamentary del- egation including representative from FATA, KPK, Punjab and other provinces and this shows a commitment of the entire Pakistani nation to fully support the Thar power project which is quite historic since upon completion in 2018, it will generate electricity from the high quality coal that has been mined from Thar to 1330 MG.
The members of the committee including Akram Khan Durrani, MNA/Federal Minister for Housing and Works, Alhaj Shahji Gul Afridi, MNA/Parliamentary Leader of FATA and Rana Mohammad Afzal, MNA/Parliamentary Secretary for Finance said that Thar is the energy future of Pakistan and Thar Coal Project has finally been revived after 25 years which is a historical development since it entirely shows a national committee to Thar which is one of the less developed areas of Pakistan but also a national consensus since the project was inaugurated by Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and then President Asif Ali Zardar in January 2014.
The Committee members urged that the local inhabitants of Thar, who are primary stakeholders, may be provided with jobs particularly the youth and women and they also expressed satisfaction on the provision of clean drinking water to various points of the area. They also visited Asia's largest Solar Hybrid Water Desalination Plants in Mithi supplying 2 million gallon of water and Islam Kot which is supplying 1.5 million gallon water to the people of the area. They proposed establishment of technical training institute for youth. Some points also raised during the meeting about the provision of security in Thar which the Committee promised to take up at the high level in Islamabad.