No end to loadshedding in Pakistan: Kaira

PPP leader says opposition should chant ‘Jaag Pakistan Jaag’ instead of 'Jaag Punjab Jaag'.

Owais Jafri August 03, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, while briefing the media on electricity shortfall, said that even if all available resources of Pakistan are applied, we will not be able to put an end to loadshedding.

Kaira was briefing the media along with Minister for Water and Power Ahmad Mukhtar on the 2,000MW electricity shortfall that the country had faced due to a 'tornado' in Muzaffargarh a week ago.

“All repairs have been completed,” assured Kaira.

Addressing the issue of loadshedding, Kaira said that there was no “fund and fuel” problem faced by the country in terms of electricity. “We are using all our resources but the demand is rising,” he said.

Attributing the shorftall to previous governments, Kaira said that the real cause of loadshedding was that no electricity projects had been initiated between 1996 and 2008, adding that since 2007, there has been an annual increase of 1,600MW in electricity demand.

Kaira, however added that Pakistan faced little loadshedding compared to other South-East Asian countries. He stated that these countries were facing a shortfall of around 4,000MW.

Opposition should change slogan

Criticising the opposition for their “Jaag Punjab Jaag” slogan, Kaira said that instead of inciting hatred and resentment among the masses against the government, the opposition should motiviate the country to work with the government through this difficult time.

“They should chant ‘Jaag Pakistan Jaag’,” said Kaira, adding that the current slogan was “activating the nation’s enemies in all other provinces”.

Kaira reiterated that loadshedding was, despite popular belief, being shared equally among the provinces.

Iran pipeline

“The belief that electricity is uselessly lying around in Iran and we are not taking it is wrong,” said Kaira, speaking on the Iran pipeline issue.

“Iran does not have surplus electricity, they have to put a pipeline near Pakistan’s border,” he said.

“We have to lay a 300km-long line, they have to install a power house of around 500 to 800MW and that will give us electricity,” he added.

“We have made that agreement (with Iran) despite immense international pressure,” said Kaira adding that those who “engaged in sloganeering and propaganda would just cave in to any such pressure”.

“It is just our government (that perseveres),” he added.

Stating the the party never compromised on the nuclear assets issue, Kaira said that they were threatened of being made into a “horrific example”.

“Zulfiar Ali Bhutto became that “horrific example” but we did not leave the path,” Kaira said.

“Benazir Bhutto was told not to make the atomic power delivery system of Pakistan, but we made it,” he added.

“Even today, there were a lot of hurdles in the way of our agreement with Iran but we made the agreement,” he said, adding, “It requires billions of dollars and international cooperation is required to get that.”

“Those who continue their sloganeering should know that international forums don’t give money so easily,” he said.

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