Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Thursday opposition parties were conspiring against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. On his arrival from Tajikistan where he attended quadrilateral session of CASA-1000 conference in Dushanbe, he talked to the local media about the ongoing political unrest.
Prime Minister Nawaz stated that his political opponents had certain intentions, while expressing full confident to appear scot-free in Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report for Panama case. “No one has any evidence of the accusations,” he added.
He said, the same person was being held accountable who made the country a nuclear power. “God and nation is with us,” he said. Nawaz Sharif told that his family had been doing business since 1937, adding that the opposition was conspiring against them as they did in past.
To a question about relations with the arch-rival India, he recalled that he visited India when PM Narendra Modi took oath, but now the restive situation in held Kashmir had blocked diplomatic talks. “We want friendly relations with India,” he said.
He said there were massive violations of human rights in the Indian occupied Kashmir.
The prime minister was accompanied by his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Ministers for Commerce Khurram Dastgir and Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif. His engagements in Tajikistan included inking of a joint declaration with Tajikistan, participation in quadrilateral summit of CASA-1000 countries and a trilateral summit with Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
Addressing the Quadrilateral Session of CASA-1000 conference in Pugus, PM Nawaz reiterated commitment of Pakistan for early implementation of CASA-1000 project adding that, “Pakistan needs energy for its socio-economic development and run its industrial sector to its full potential.”
President of the host country Emomali Rahmon, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov also attended the conference.
PM Nawaz expressed satisfaction that, “Some of the world’s leading manufacturers have expressed their keen interest to provide Converter Stations for CASA-1000.” The Prime Minister noted that, “The second meeting of Pak-Tajik JWG on Energy and Infrastructure and Technical Committee was held in Dushanbe on March 16 2017. It is heartening to know that on May 11, 2017 five companies have submitted bids for convertor stations including all leading manufacturers like ABB, Seimens, Alstonetc, etc.”
He pointed out that, “Tenders for transmission lines from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan and from Tajikistan to Afghanistan have been floated and are currently being evaluated.” The Prime Minister hoped that worked on the project would begin very soon.
The PM described CASA-1000 as a “flagship project” in the region connecting Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia to Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia through an electricity grid. He said, “On its completion, Pakistan will get 1,000 MW and Afghanistan 300 MW electricity in summer time, from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan our two brotherly countries that have abundant water resources enabling them to produce inexpensive and clean hydroelectricity.”
He said, “This project will help bring a number of economic, social and environmental benefits to member countries. It will reduce the energy deficit, create jobs, improve trade and reduce carbon dioxide emissions thanks to the supply of clean energy. It will also contribute to regional integration.”
The Prime Minister said, “The project is an important step toward realization of the planned Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM). It will be a good example of promoting cooperation between energy-deficient South Asia and energy-rich Central Asia.”
He said, “CASA-1000 Power Project will not only bring revenues to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan but will also mitigate electricity shortages in Pakistan and Afghanistan and increase the prospects for growth. It will also be a source of revenue for Afghanistan opening up greater business and investment opportunities.” At the conclusion of the review of the CASA meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Emomali Rahmon had a stroll along the ice-cold cascading Varzob River where they discussed issues of mutual interest.
They were later joined by President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan and Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov at the luncheon. President Ashraf Ghani too had a chat with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as they arrived at the Quadrilateral summit after meeting President Emomali Rahmon.
Nawaz Sharif and Hamid Karzai walked to the conference hall holding each others’ hand. Although there was no official word about their talk, the atmospherics clearly indicated positive vibes.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also visited the agriculture exhibition in Government residence, Pugus Palace, near Dushanbe. The Prime Minister along with the Presidents of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and the Prrime Minister of Kyrgyzstan viewed Agri products in the exhibition. Different stalls of fruits and agriculture items were exhibited to promote Tajik agri products. The Prime Minister praised the quality of local grown fruits. The PM and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon along with other leaders also visited different parts of the Pugus palace.—INP