while addressing the National Energy Conference on Prospects of Power Generation, organised by South Asian Strategic Institute (SASSI) University, here in Islamabad on Tuesday Federal Minister for Water & Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that to develop a concrete road map for a secure energy vision for the future, the nation must work at developing indigenous scientific and industrial capacities to explore domestic energy reserves.
He said that the geographical position of Pakistan not only makes it a potential energy exporter but also a trade and energy corridor for South and Central Asia and due to this advantage, Pakistan can manoeuvre itself in a way that significantly increases its bargaining power in the region and beyond.
On the occasion, renowned Defence Analyst and Chairperson of South Asian Strategic Institute (SASSI) University, Dr. Maria Sultan, said that economic growth and industrialization in a globalised world today is inextricably linked to the continuous availability, access, diversity and modernisation of energy resources.
“Pakistan is subjected to international diplomatic and political pressure, by the select few, over its efforts of diversification of its energy imports,” she said, while quoting the Iran – Pakistan Gas Pipeline issue. She was of the view that international sanctions on Iran and subsequent diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to be a process of Iranian containment have exacerbated the energy crisis in Pakistan and increased the uncertainty of the economic future.
“Second example is the transfer of civil nuclear technology to India, by the powerful few, circumventing the established international norms of nuclear non-proliferation,” Dr. Maria said, while regretting that the same access is not allowed to Pakistan in the global nuclear energy market, which leaves Pakistan with very few options to turn around the energy crisis.
The demographic factor is a strength for Pakistan, which can significantly be used for tapping, and optimising the energy resources under an alternate economic thought, she emphasised.
Chairman of Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), Mohammad Anwar Habib, and Advisor on Nuclear Power National Command Authority, Dr. Ansar Parvez, and other Energy Experts also attended the conference to exchange their views.
Replacing privatisation with increased state management of installed power producing units, exploring and distributing natural resources, focus on research and development of renewable alternate energy resources, mandatory energy assessment, less taxation, ending the role of Breton woods institutions in managing the energy crisis are pivotal for energy self sufficiency.