ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday demanded of the government to magnify its focus on construction of nuclear power stations, the second cheapest source of energy.  Pakistan is facing great difficulties in construction of dams; it should try to overcome obstacles but at the same time establish more nuclear power stations to counter energy crisis which has compromised growth, it said.  Some politicians have transformed technical issue of Kalabagh dam into a political issue and connected it to integrity of Pakistan which is unfortunate, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Similarly, he said, pace of progress on Diamer-Bhasha dam, contemplated in 2006 remains highly unsatisfactory. Pakistan cannot raise US$14 billion for construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam, WB and ADB have stopped funding of the dam to please India while US is supporting the project in statements only, he added.

He said that earlier US had refused a civil nuclear cooperation deal similar to that with India despite knowing its importance for Pakistan.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that delay in construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam will not only deprive Pakistan of electricity but efforts to stop floods and enhance life of Tarbela dam by 35 years may not work.

In this grim scenario, Pakistan should establish more nuclear power plants to secure its future. Pakistan’s expertise and safety record remains one of the best in the world as its first nuclear power plant is operational since 42 years without any trouble. 

Hundreds of ships and submarines are powered by nuclear fuel, thirty-one countries continue to operate 430 nuclear power plants while around seventy are under construction at various locations. Few mishaps shouldn’t be used to deprive energy-starved Pakistan to use nuclear energy for peaceful purpose, said Dr. Mughal.