Shahbaz seeks Chinese cooperation for power crisis

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Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday said that the cooperation of Chinese authorities and investors for overcoming the energy crisis in Pakistan would further strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries, while speaking during a series of meetings with various government and semi-government institutional heads in Beijing.

The chief minister said that there was vast scope for electricity generation from coal, solar and hydel power in Pakistan, and he hoped that China would cooperate with Pakistan in benefiting from these resources.

He said that maximum facilities and protection would be extended to investors in Punjab’s energy sector, and land would be provided to them on a short term for installing solar energy plants. The government would also exert all effort required to minimise the cost of electricity production to these plants.

Shahbaz stated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to China aimed towards seeking Chinese cooperation in energy production. He said that China was a trusted ally and he hoped that it would not abandon Pakistan in its time of need.

“Pakistan is not asking for aid: we only want friendly cooperation and technical guidance from China,” he added.

He maintained that Pakistanis were a talented nation and expressed confidence that the country could make rapid progress like China under Nawaz Sharif’s dynamic leadership.

The chief minister invited the heads of Chinese companies to visit Punjab and evolve power generation projects here.

Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Punjab government and the China Energy Engineering Company in Beijing.

Provincial Energy Minister Sher Ali Khan signed the document on the Punjab government’s behalf. Under the agreement, the Chinese company would set up a medium range power generation project using coal.

Earlier, the underground metro authorities gave a briefing to Shahbaz Sharif on the transport system in Beijing.

Chinese authorities and experts expressed their willingness to cooperate in operating the most modern transport system in the major cities of the province.