The capital’s business and trade body has urged the US to help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis.
“Instead of thwarting Pakistan’s efforts to tackle its energy crisis, US should play a positive role and help Pakistan in overcoming its energy problem,” said Zafar Bakhtawari, president, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) while talking to a delegation of Asia Foundation (AF) at his office on Monday.
The AF team led by its country representative Gareth Aicken visited ICCI to understand the problems being faced by business persons, said a press release issued by the chamber. Other members of the team were Governance, Law and Civil Society Senior Director William S Cole and Economic Development Director Veronique Salze Lozach.
Bakhtawari said that energy crisis was affecting growth of businesses and the overall economy. He said Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI)
gas pipeline projects were crucial to address the energy crisis.
He termed it unfortunate that India had opted out of IPI project due to US influence, while Pakistan was being pressurised to give up the project. He said that the US had offered civil nuclear technology to India to make it withdraw from the IPI project, but the US had not offered any viable option to Pakistan so far to overcome the energy crisis.
Elaborating on various objectives of ICCI, he said it was striving to get representation in public sector organisations so that it could play its role effectively in formulating business-friendly policies.
Aicken said that his organisation had been working in Pakistan since 1954 in the areas of governance, gender, economic reforms and development. He said that the foundation was working for building citizen-state relationships and supporting political parties to be better organised and more responsive to people.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2012.
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