Reforms set to ensure cheap, uninterrupted power supply: Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government is committed to bringing reforms in the power sector to ensure cheaper and uninterrupted electricity supply to the people.
Chairing a review meeting on the ongoing reforms process here on Friday, the Prime Minister reiterated the resolve for early completion of the reforms process. “Leave no stone unturned in provision of cheaper and uninterrupted power supply to the masses,” he directed the concerned authorities.
The Prime Minister said that the reforms in the power sector are vital for economic stability and development in the country. He said that the former governments had not focused on reforms in the energy sector.
The Prime Minister said that the country could not meet the potential of economic development as reforms in power sector, considering the modern trends and growing domestic and industrial needs, were neglected in the past.
The meeting was attended by Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Energy Minister Omar Ayub and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nadeem Babar.
International energy and economics experts including Dr Robin Burgess from London School of Economics and Professor Michael Greenstone of Chicago University also joined the meeting through video link.
The meeting discussed in detail the roadmap for power sector reforms with a particular focus on supply of inexpensive and undisturbed electricity to the consumers.
Appreciating the experts’ research on Pakistan’s energy sector, the Prime Minister said the incumbent government is committed to power sector reforms.
In light of their experience and research, the experts put forward their proposals regarding the power sector reforms and for economic development.
The Prime Minister lauded the proposals from the experts and assured the government’s all-out support for inter-ministerial consultation and research on the implementation mechanism of the reforms.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the UN General Assembly session on Friday next.
Addressing the weekly news briefing here on Friday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said due to restrictions imposed by the local administration in New York, there will be no in-person high-level participation from outside.
He said the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly will commence on Tuesday.
The spokesperson said the foreign minister will participate virtually in the high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. He will also participate in other high level engagements.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan welcomes the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelete’s reiteration of serious concerns on unabated violence in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, including indiscriminate use of pellet guns on civilians.
He said that Pakistan strongly condemns continued Indian attempts to illegally change the demographic structure of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He said, as reported, Indian authorities have distributed over 1.68 million domiciles to non-Kashmiris.
He said that Pakistan categorically rejects any possibility to allow a Queen’s Counsel by India to represent its spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, currently on a death-row in Pakistan.
“Allowing a Queen’s Counsel for Jadhav is out of question as only a lawyer with license to practice in Pakistan can appear before the court,” Chaudri said.
The spokesperson said India was consistently making efforts to evade the Jadhav case. Pakistan has already given “uninterrupted and unimpeded” consular access to Jadhav and is ready to extend the same in future as well, he said.
To a question on induction of five French-made Rafale fighter jets into India Air Force, the FO spokesperson termed the development “disturbing” where India continued to amass military capabilities beyond its genuine security requirement.
He stressed that Rafale jets were dual-capable systems that could also be modified as nuclear weapon delivery platforms, and also warned of its adverse effect on strategic stability in South Asia.
He expressed Pakistan’s concern over the arms build-up being aided and abetted through a policy of exemptions, waivers and supply of advanced equipment, technology and weapons for narrow commercial interests.
Asked if Pakistan was considering making Gilgit Baltistan its fifth province, he said political, economic and administrative reforms for the GB are an ongoing process, which would continue as per long standing demand of its people.
When sought comments of Pakistan’s position as more Islamic countries hinted of recognizing Israel, the FO spokesperson said, “There is no change in Pakistan’s principled position on Palestine.” – TLTP

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