China supporting Pakistan to overcome energy shortage: Pakistani Minister

Islamabad: Minister of State for Petroleum and Energy Musadik Malik has said that China was supporting Pakistan to overcome the energy shortage.

Addressing Thought Leaders Forum (TLF) here, he maintained that the government would encourage the agriculture sector to move toward sustainability. “Our vision of Pakistan was to energize the upward mobility of the people,” he added.

The minister stressed that the government was striving hard for improvement of the energy sector to provide people with affordable and sustainable energy.

He mentioned China’s support under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which was slowly eliminating the energy shortage.

He predicted that the energy crises will be over once all the energy projects under the CPEC are functional.

Acknowledging problems of demand and supply in the energy sector, the minister said the government was utilizing state-of-the-art means to overcome these issues.

“The government’s vision of the energy sector is to energise the whole sector. Energise the poor and create the infrastructure that allows them upward social mobility,” Malik remarked.

The minister said that the subsidies had hindered the growth of the energy sector infrastructure.

Productivity needed to be increased in both the public and private sectors through innovation and technology infusion, he sugegsted.

Malik said, the major problems of the energy sector include availability, affordability, and fiscal sustainability. Therefore, building pipelines especially from Central Asia to Pakistan like Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) was necessary, he added.

The minister also stressed working on indigenizing gas exploration in the country to build capacity and focus on renewable sources of energy.

He further stated that Pakistan was soon aiming to announce its refining policy and was expected to attract an investment of US $ 12 billion to setup a world-class refinery.

Earlier, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General Institute of Stategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), in his welcome remarks highlighted the relevance of the topic chosen for discussion.

Dr Talat Shabbir, Director China-Pakistan Study Centre, in his introductory remarks apprised the audience about the significance of TLF.