Pak Minister to visit India to tackle energy crisis

Nawaz Sharif has asked the minister to visit India, as the country was facing severe energy crisis.

June 30, 2013 03:25 pm | Updated 03:25 pm IST - Islamabad

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed his Water and Power Minister to India to address the severe energy crisis facing the country.

“We are facing acute electricity shortage and any assistance in the power sector will help us in addressing the problem,” Mr. Sharif said while speaking to members of the Pak-India Joint Business Council at the Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday.

Mr. Sharif told the meeting that he had directed Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Water and Power, to visit India and explore potential areas of cooperation between the two countries, the official APP news agency reported.

Earlier, Mr. Asif had said that the energy crisis in Pakistan will take at least two years to be resolved. He said that due to shortage of power the country had sustained a huge loss of Rs. 1,000 billion in the last five years. Pakistan is currently facing a power deficit of 4,000-5,000 megawatts per day.

Earlier this month, Pakistan had sought 500 MW of electricity from India by laying a transmission line from Punjab to Lahore. The proposal to buy power was made when an expert group visited Pakistan to discuss energy cooperation.

India is willing to help and is exploring the points which can be used to hook-up to the grid in Pakistan through a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) line, government sources in New Delhi has said.

Mr. Sharif has earlier said that tackling the energy crisis will be among the top priorities of his government.

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