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Rise above mutual differences and work in the interest of Pakistan:Nawaz Sharif

29 December, 2016

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CHASHMA: Terming sit-ins “destructive” and an attempt to interrupt the country’s journey of progress, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday urged politicians not to create hurdles and put Pakistan’s interests ahead of their personal ones.

“Rise above mutual differences and work in the interest of Pakistan,” he said in his address at the inauguration of Chashma-III nuclear power plant. He said an uninterrupted supply of electricity was a lifeline for the continuity of industrial activity in the country, which suffered a severe setback due to the power crisis.

He also criticised the previous governments for pushing the country into darkness, and said those responsible must be questioned over their grave negligence. “They must be questioned about bringing in an era of darkness in Pakistan and giving the nation a curse of 18-hour electricity load shedding a day,” he said.

The premier said the country was now coming out of its troubled times with the completion of development projects, improved economy and better situation of law and order. He said that since everything was going in the right direction, all the political sit-ins and agitation were simply useless.

He said that ending load shedding was the government’s top priority and termed completion of Chashma-III nuclear power plant another milestone achieved towards zero-load shedding. “The commitment to rid the nation of electricity load shedding by 2018 will be fulfilled... for which I am personally overseeing the power projects.”

He said that Chashma-III project was a reflection of solid foundation of friendship between Pakistan and China. He felicitated the nation on completion of the project, which besides adding 340 megawatts of electricity to the national grid would also contribute towards development of the region. He recalled that the agreement on Chashma-I power project was concluded during his earlier tenure. He said the completion of K2 and K3 power plants would not only generate 2,200 megawatts of electricity but also strengthen ties between the two countries.

He expressed satisfaction over assurance given by the authorities for completion of Chashma-IV by April 2017 instead of the earlier deadline of mid-2017.

He said that besides expansion of nuclear projects, the government was also mindful of ensuring their safety standards. He expressed satisfaction over the vigilance of the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA).

The premier said the government would fulfil the needs of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in its projects, and also thanked the China Atomic Energy Commission, the China National Nuclear Commission and the Exim Bank for providing financial and technical support. He invited the Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan’s power sector and assured them of the government’s fullest assistance. He said that Pakistan and China, being close friends, were collaborating in diverse areas, mainly the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and infrastructure projects.

The premier mentioned that the government, with Chinese assistance, was building highways in Balochistan, constructing modern airport in Gwadar and upgrading the railway system.

He said that power projects were being built in all provinces, adding there was a tremendous potential for Sino-Pak collaboration in the energy sector. The prime minister lauded the services of staffers of Chashma-III power project and announced a two-month bonus with their salaries in recognition of their hard work.

PAEC Chairman Muhammad Naeem said the environment-friendly Chashma nuclear projects were in accordance with international safety standards.

The completion of Chashma-III would not only meet the national requirements of electricity but also ensure continuity of economic activity, he added.

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