Islamabad: Defense Minister Khawaja Asif today said that neither his resignation, nor protests would help in the prevailing crisis in Karachi.

He expressed these views, while winding up the discussion on the situation arising out of energy/electricity crisis in the country. Khawaja Muhammad Asif said, the new agreement with K-Electric will be made in the best interest of the people of Karachi, by pointing out that 650 MW electricity is being provided to the K-Electric, after the expiry of the agreement keeping in view the difficulties of the people.  He said there is no legal obligation of the federal government to provide 650 MW electricity to K-Electric, after expiry of the agreement.

The Minister said, the government will seek guidance from the House before finalizing the contract with K-Electric.

He termed the deaths due to heat wave in Karachi as a big tragedy. He also referred that 3000 deaths have been occurred in India, during one month. He said after the 18th amendment, basically it is the responsibility of the provincial government to deal with such issues. He said the Sindh Government should play its role and provide treatment and other facilities, to the suffering people. He, however, said we accept overall responsibility as the federal government and it is ready to cooperate with the provincial government with all its resources.

Khawaja Asif said the problems cannot be resolved by staging sit-ins. He said, elected representative can play role to motivate the people to pay their electricity bills. He said the present government is pursuing the privatization policy and it has no intention to reverse any privatization, including K-Electric.

The Minister said, there was delay of two years in the completion of Nandipur Power Project during the previous PPP government. He expressed the hope that it will be completed by the end of this year, when LNG will be available. He said, this will add over 500 MW electricity to the national grid. Asif said transmission lines of Neelum-Jhelum and Golen Gol Hydropower Project is under process. He said the Sindh Government is vigorously pursuing the Thar Coal Project and massive investment is coming there. He said power plants are being installed there and mining is also being developed. He said Thar Coal is the future of the country. He said alternative energy resources including solar and wind will be pursued at affordable tariff level.

Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif said there will be considerable reduction in load-shedding and will be totally ended in 2018. He expressed the hope that they will go before the people for the new mandate in 2018 on the success of ending the load-shedding. The Minister said electricity theft has ended at grid and feeder level due to installation of smart meters there. He said there is a plan to install smart meters at consumers level to stop theft at this level. He asked the provincial governments to set up their own power plants for electricity generation. He said distribution companies can also install their generation plants.

Khawaja Asif said they are equally share the grief of the bereaved families of Karachi. He said they owned problems of Karachi, but the basic responsibility is of the provincial government and the Sindh government should play its role in this regard.

 Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad moved a motion to discuss situation arising out of heatwave and humidity, due to rise in temperature causing deaths of hundreds of people and causing sufferings to thousands of people in the country, particularly in Karachi. It will be taken up at the next session of the national assembly.