ISLAMABAD

Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif has emphasized the need for developing a concrete road map for a secure energy vision for the future, adding that the vision must broadly aim at developing indigenous scientific and industrial capacities for exploring domestic energy reserves.

He was addressing as chief guest at the National Energy Conference on Prospects of Power Generation, organized by South Asian Strategic Institute (SASSI) University, here on Tuesday.

He acknowledged that the geographical position of Pakistan not only makes it a potential energy exporter but also a trade and energy corridor for South and Central Asia and due to this advantage, Pakistan can maneuver itself in a way that significantly increases its bargaining power in the region and beyond.  

On the occasion, renowned defence analyst and chairperson of South Asian Strategic Institute (SASSI) University, Dr. Maria Sultan, during her welcome address, said that economic growth and industrialization in a globalized world today is inextricably linked to the continuous availability, access, diversity and modernization of energy resources. “Pakistan is subjected to international diplomatic and political pressure, by the select few, over its efforts of diversification of its energy imports,” she said, while quoting the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline issue.

She was of the view that international sanctions on Iran and subsequent diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to be a process of Iranian containment have exacerbated the energy crisis in Pakistan and increased the uncertainty of the economic future.

“Second example is the transfer of civil nuclear technology to India, by the powerful few, circumventing the established international norms of nuclear non-proliferation,” Dr. Maria said, while regretting that the same access is not allowed to Pakistan in the global nuclear energy market which leaves Pakistan with very few options to turn around the energy crisis.

The demographic factor is strength for Pakistan which can significantly be used for tapping and optimizing the energy resources under an alternate economic thought, she concluded.

Mohammad Anwar Habib, Chairman of Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), Dr. Ansar Parvez, Advisor on Nuclear Power National Command Authority and other Energy Experts also attended the conference to exchange their views.

Replacing privatization with increased state management of installed power producing units, exploring and distributing natural resources, focus on research and development of renewable alternate energy resources, mandatory energy assessment, less taxation, ending the role of Breton woods institutions in managing the energy crisis were amongst some of the topics that came under-discussion for overcoming the energy crises.