PM questions predecessors over ‘pushing country into darkness’

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APP42-28 MIANWALI: December 28 - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif addressing the gathering after the inauguration of the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant-3. APP

CHASHMA, Dec 28 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on
Wednesday criticizing the previous governments for pushing the
country into darkness of loadshedding said “those responsible must
be questioned over their grave negligence”.

“They must be asked for bringing in an era of darkness in Pakistan and giving the nation a curse of 18-hour electricity loadshedding a day,” the Prime Minister said in his address at the inauguration of Chashma-III nuclear power plant, completed with assistance of China.

The Prime Minister said an uninterrupted supply of electricity was a lifeline for the continuity of industrial activity in the country, which suffered a severe setback due to power crisis.

Nawaz Sharif said the country was now coming out of its troubled times with the completion of development projects on full pace, improved economy and law & order situation.

He said since everything was going on in right direction, all the political sit-ins and agitation were simply useless.

“Do not create hurdles and put Pakistan’s interests ahead of your personal ones,” he asked the politicians.

He said such attempts were meant to interrupt the journey of progress and urged upon the political parties to rise above mutual differences and work in the interest of Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif said ending loadshedding was the government’s top priority and termed completion of Chashma-III nuclear power plant
another milestone achieved towards zero-loadshedding.

“The commitment to rid the nation of electricity loadshedding
by 2018 will be fulfilled Inshallah, for which I am personally
overseeing the power projects.”

The Prime Minister said Chashma-III project was a reflection of solid foundation of friendship between Pakistan and China.

He felicitated the nation on completion of the project, which besides adding 340 megawatts electricity to national grid would
also contribute to development of the region.

He recalled that the agreement on Chashma-I power project was
concluded during his earlier tenure of government.

He said the completion of K2 and K3 power plants would not
only generate 2,200 megawatt electricity but also strengthen ties
between the two countries.

He expressed satisfaction over assurance given by the authorities for completion of Chashma-IV by April 2017 instead of the earlier deadline of mid-2017.

He said besides expansion of nuclear projects, the government
was also mindful of ensuring their safety standards and expressed
satisfaction over the vigilance of Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory
Authority.

Nawaz Sharif said the government would fulfill needs of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in its projects and also thanked China Atomic Energy Commission, China National Nuclear Commission and Exim Bank for providing financial and technical support.

He invited the Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan’s power
sector and assured them of the government’s fullest assistance.

He said Pakistan and China being close friends were collaborating in diverse areas, mainly China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and infrastructure projects.

The prime minister mentioned that the government with Chinese
assistance was building highways in Balochistan, constructing modern
airport in Gwadar and upgrading railways system.

He said power projects were being built in all provinces, adding there was a tremendous potential for Sino-Pak collaboration in energy sector.

The prime minister lauded the services of staffers of Chashma- III power project and announced a two-month bonus with their salaries in recognition to their hard work.

Chairman PAEC Muhammad Naeem said the environment-friendly Chashma nuclear projects were in accordance with the international safety standards.

The completion of Chashma-III would not only meet the national
requirements of electricity but would also ensure continuity of
economic activity, he added.

The vice president of CNNC said China’s cooperation with
Pakistan in nuclear energy was for peaceful purposes and reflected
strategic nature of their relationship.

He said nuclear projects were one of the important resources
of sustainable energy and economy.

He felicitated Pakistan government on completion of Chashma-III and said China would further strengthen cooperation in nuclear energy.

Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, PM’s Adviser on
Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, State Minister for Water and Power Abid
Sher Ali and Director General Strategic Plans Division Lt Gen Mazhar
Jameel were present.