HYDERABAD  - President Asif Ali Zardari, inaugurating Darawat Dam Project on Saturday, said no country can progress without inexpensive energy, adding he was leaving for Iran tomorrow to inaugurate Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

The president said over two dozen hydropower projects were in progress after the completion of which 21,00mw low-cost hydro power would be added to the national grid.

He said a number of initiatives had been taken by the government to achieve the goals set out in the energy policy. He revealed the elected government had devised a comprehensive energy policy aimed at meeting the current and future demands for power.

The government was focusing on the exploration of new resources of water and hydropower, he claimed.

He added the government was also developing other alternate resources of energy like coal, wind and solar. As part of the energy policy, the government was building a number of small and medium dams throughout the country, he said. He said these projects would also store 13 million acres feet of water for agriculture.

President Asif Ali Zardari also distributed ownership certificates under Benazir Housing Scheme.

Addressing on the occasion, Zardari said the government’s top priority was to provide security to the lives and properties of the people at every cost. He said he had directed the Sindh chief minister to give the first priority to law and order situation.

Staff reporter from Islamabad adds: President Asif Ali Zardari would be visiting Iran on Monday to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of $7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

A mega ceremony, at the border point from where the Pakistan section of the pipeline starts, would be attended by the presidents of the two countries besides other world leaders and foreign diplomats.

To show a national consensus on ‘this milestone project in the history of the country’, the chief ministers, except Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and governors of all the four provinces have agreed to join the president on the visit, sources said.