Pakistan to receive more as Afghanistan abandons share in CASA-1,000

Published: June 17, 2016
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Pakistan will now get 1,300MW from Tajikistan compared to previous 1,000MW. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan will now get 1,300MW from Tajikistan compared to previous 1,000MW. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will receive 1,300 megawatts of cheap and clean electricity from Central Asian states, more than the initially planned 1,000MW, as Afghanistan has abandoned its share of electricity due to dearth of demand.

Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been working on electricity trading arrangements under the Central Asia-South Asia (Casa) 1,000 project that will transmit 1,300MW of power from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Under the original plan, Pakistan had been allocated a major share of 1,000MW while Afghanistan had to import 300MW.

“Now, Pakistan will receive the entire 1,300MW due to weak demand in Afghanistan,” Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said while speaking at a ceremony held for the signing of a protocol between Pakistan and Tajikistan.

The protocol was inked after conclusion of 5th session of the Pakistan-Tajikistan joint commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation.

Asif said Afghanistan had been given assurances that it would be provided electricity either by Tajikistan or a power generating facility in Pakistan.

The joint commission agreed on improving bilateral relations as a lot of trade potential needed to be exploited between the two countries.

Asif revealed that they also discussed three options to connect the two countries through road links.

One option is to connect via Afghanistan, but there are hurdles in the way and the other is to connect through the Wakhan border as the road will pass through northern areas of Pakistan and reach Tajikistan through a narrow strip in Afghanistan.

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The third and more practical is the Kashgar route due to ongoing work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Tajikistan Minister of Energy and Water Resources Usmonali Usmonzoda, who signed the protocol on behalf of his country, said Pakistan and Tajikistan had done a lot of work in the energy sector over the past three years.

“A lot of action has been taken, resulting in improvement in energy cooperation and Casa-1,000 power project is one of them,” he said.

Tajikistan has already laid transmission lines that are supplying electricity to Afghanistan.

He said direct flights from Lahore to Dushanbe had started giving a smooth access for businessmen and tourists to Tajikistan.

Responding to a question about hurdles in the way of a transit trade agreement due to Kabul’s insistence on including India, he said, “We should use all positive solutions.”

During the joint commission meeting, both sides expressed the resolve to initiate physical work on the Casa-1,000 project as early as possible to achieve the desired results.

They noted the mutual interest in export of an additional 1,000MW to Pakistan outside of the Casa project. Members of a technical committee have been notified and its first meeting will be held as early as possible.

The two sides agreed to establish joint ventures with Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum Limited for exploration and processing of hydrocarbons in Tajikistan in a government-to-government arrangement.

They will also enhance business-to-business contacts by organising second meeting of the Joint Business Council on the sidelines of inaugural session of the Joint Working Group on Trade, Investment and Transport in Dushanbe in October this year. A bilateral transport agreement will also be discussed during the meeting.

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They agreed on signing an understanding by the State Bank of Pakistan and the National Bank of Tajikistan on supervisory cooperation. In this regard, the SBP will share draft of the memorandum of understanding through diplomatic channels within three months.

The Tajik team was told that their request for accession to the Quadrilateral Agreement for Traffic-in-Transit among Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan was being considered. Tajikistan showed its willingness to participate in a truck caravan being organised by Pakistan under the quadrilateral agreement.

Tajikistan also expressed interest in entering into joint ventures with Pakistan investors in processing of cotton, wool and finished leather products.

In order to effectively collaborate in agriculture, a joint working group will be formed. They also agreed on renewal of the agreement on scientific and technological cooperation signed in 1992 through exchange of diplomatic notes. Apart from all these, they will also combat drugs and narcotics trafficking.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Big mistake
    Jun 17, 2016 - 9:48AM

    You should have never betrayed the Afghans. They are the most loyal brothers and the most relentless enemies. Big mistake.Recommend

  • Anz
    Jun 17, 2016 - 9:54AM

    A narrow strip of Afghanistan, it may look a few mm on map but what is the scale of map to ground. Recommend

  • whatever
    Jun 17, 2016 - 10:04AM

    so even from Afghanistan, Pakistan is trying to get aid.Recommend

  • abbas khalid
    Jun 17, 2016 - 10:23AM

    @ big mistake “Loyal” HAHHAHAHA, “Relentless” five more minutes of hahhaha. The only thing there are loyal to is money and the only thing they are relentless at is selling drugs. Instead of reading afghan history from Urdu newspapers and Pakistan studies books please read a more balanced view from somebody like “Pakhtun Ethnic Natio­nalism: From Separation to Integration” written by Adil Khan. Recommend

  • FAZ
    Jun 17, 2016 - 11:03AM

    @whatever:
    Afghan opium has having its effect on youRecommend

  • Abbas
    Jun 17, 2016 - 11:20AM

    Electricity is the life line of any country . we take it from Tajikistan. if break down from jamshore , All the Karachi go to dark for 24 or 36 hours. If it break from Tajikistan, we do not know how much time it take. other then some terrorist attack.
    Mr. Nawaz Sharif do some thing for Pakistan other then corruption . Recommend

  • Jun 17, 2016 - 11:22AM

    @Anz:
    Afghan are living in this world for 5000 years, look to your back ground. Recommend

  • Sonya
    Jun 17, 2016 - 11:30AM

    Afghans disguising with weak demand are in fact very clever, they know they can produce cheap electricity locally instead of dependence on others.Recommend

  • Farooq
    Jun 17, 2016 - 1:00PM

    look at the map, northern areas shown as part of india, have seen this map in other pictures, disgusting while PM is there.Recommend

  • Indian Hawk
    Jun 17, 2016 - 2:55PM

    Seems Pakistan is playing its cards wisely. Time for Modi to hasten the efforts to isolate Pakistan. I have met a few Afghans Pashtuns. They are a majority and want brotherly relations with Pakistan. India should not waste more time and money- will have to act smart.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 17, 2016 - 3:00PM

    Lovely seeing the Indian trolls getting frustrated at all these good things happening for Pakistan. The 5% of Afghanistan that the puppets in Kabul control does not matter. Pakistan zindabad.Recommend

  • atif
    Jun 17, 2016 - 3:00PM

    @Abdul Majid

    A human only live around 60-70 years. That is all matters for an individual.Recommend

  • quatro
    Jun 17, 2016 - 3:37PM

    It would appear that Afghanistan has pulled out of the CASA project and this might indicate that TAPI is dead as well. Spinning this to say that Pakistan is going to get more electricity is kinda naive. Recommend

  • G. Din
    Jun 17, 2016 - 5:45PM

    @atif:
    “@Abdul Majid
    A human only live around 60-70 years. That is all matters for an individual.”

    Nations outlive individuals just like the rivers continue to flow while a particular drop of water at a particular time drowns in the seas. No one talks about the drop of water but the rivers show up in the maps for all time to come.Recommend

  • Kamran_SHAH
    Jun 17, 2016 - 6:40PM

    The project has become confused. If Afghanistan government has stepped down from the project, how Pakistan would laid the transmission line? Initially, the line was supposed to be come through Afghanistan, now, as Afghanistan declined to continue as a partner, if the route remains still the same, there would be no security for the line. If so happens, first of all Afghan govt itself would involve in undermining the project.Recommend

  • Ahmad Durrani
    Jun 17, 2016 - 6:48PM

    Promises ! Projects ! Politicians make false promises about projects that are never completed. We will only believe when 1300 MW power starts flowing to consumers in Pakistan. Until then it is a empty promise !Recommend

  • Unknown
    Jun 17, 2016 - 7:51PM

    @Abdul Majid:

    I can bet all of these 5000 years they must have been fighting within themselves or others. Time to get education after 5000 years Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 17, 2016 - 8:35PM

    @quatro:

    Please read the latest on TAPI. It’s on target. Indians need to quit hate for Pakistan. That’s the only way out.Recommend

  • Jun 17, 2016 - 9:18PM

    obviously Pakistan will get more and definitely Pakistan should get more because Pakistan has a bigger economy and larger population as compared to Afghanistan.Recommend

  • np
    Jun 17, 2016 - 11:02PM

    @Pakistani:
    “Please read the latest on TAPI. It’s on target. Indians need to quit hate for Pakistan. That’s the only way out”

    India has pulled out of TAPI (India is the I in TAPI) making it non-viable. Please show me any recent news item that says project is on trackRecommend

  • Malik Saab
    Jun 18, 2016 - 3:50AM

    @Big mistake: Do you know there was no Afghanistan before the 16th century. The country of Afghanistan is pretty new. Also go and read Second Algo-Afghan war, Durand Line Agreement, Punjab Empire of Ranjit Singh and so much more. Every new leader came and just cross through Afghanistan with no problem.
    Real History and self made fake history is different. Afghans are too afraid of Britishers and that is why they signed Durand line agreement to leave them as it is. Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jun 18, 2016 - 5:19AM

    It was evident that Afghanistan will go back. Will they allow to cross electric wires through Afghanistan.Why not try Iran for Gas and Electricity. Try to be sane and do not destroy Pakistan just to please Saudi Arabia. Recommend

  • sid
    Jun 18, 2016 - 5:39AM

    @Big mistake:
    Brothers? Really? Laugh Out Loud really…these savages have a saying that anyone with a cousin does not need another enemy. This is how ‘trustworthy’ they are.Recommend

  • Hayder
    Jun 18, 2016 - 6:41AM

    Afghanis is building 12 dams with the help of India on Kabul rever therefore no need for Tajik electricity also this electricity is seas na but the one from turkmanstan which will be completed in 18 months 12 months a year Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Jun 18, 2016 - 10:57AM

    @Abdul Majid:
    they wouldn’t be living for any more years if it wasn’t for us Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jun 19, 2016 - 4:16AM

    It is a US agenda backed by Saudi Arabia. TAPI was and will never be feasible because it will through hostile land having Indian backing. It is in the best interest to go for Pak-Iran gas pipe line. Iran can also provide under ground railway system as they have mastered the technology. They may also be interested in oil drilling offshore. They have proved thtttt they can doRecommend

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