Thar coal misadventure?


Sania Safdar in her letter published in February 25 issue laments that the government diverted funds to buy off the Senators when these funds could have been used to develop Thar coal project.

The government has already committed US$ 115 million (nearly Rs 10 billion), and most of the allocation has been spent, on a Quixotic adventure of underground gasification of Thar coal.

Whether millions are spent to satisfy politicians through financing of their pork-barrel projects, whether millions are spent on pomp and pageantry to satisfy ego of top leaders, or whether pumping billions to satisfy a nuclear scientist’s lust to become a jack-of-all, the fact is that Pakistan is getting nowhere. FBR can only collect less than Rs 2000 billion revenue from the blood, sweat and tears of taxpayers, and then the government squanders it away as if there is no tomorrow.

Thar gasification misadventure must be immediately axed otherwise billions more would be spent needlessly, inflow of foreign direct investment in Thar would be jeopardised, and people like the nuclear Dr Strangelove and his coterie will be planning to destroy some other natural resource somewhere else in Pakistan. The doctor should stick to nuclear bombs and missiles and let experts manage coal and other minerals. Please.