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Qatari royal inaugurates power plant in Karachi after separate meetings with Sharifs in Lahore

Updated November 29, 2017

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Former Qatari PM Hamad bin Jasim arrives in Lahore.—DawnNews

Qatari royal Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani on Wednesday inaugurated a power plant at Port Qasim in Karachi along with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, DawnNews reported.

Unit-1 of the 1320 megawatt Port Qasim coal-fired power plant project, which is expected to generate 600mw of energy, has been jointly sponsored by Chinese and Qatari firms, Radio Pakistan reported.

Prime Minister Abbasi on the occasion said that the main objective and purpose of the development projects, including the power projects, was to achieve high economic growth, generate job opportunities for the youth and bring prosperity for the people of Pakistan.

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah and Governor Mohammad Zubair were also present at the inauguration ceremony.

PM Abbasi and Sheikh Jassim exchange views following the inauguration of Port Qasim Coal-fired Power Plant. —Online
PM Abbasi and Sheikh Jassim exchange views following the inauguration of Port Qasim Coal-fired Power Plant. —Online

Earlier today, heavy protocol had escorted Al-Thani from the Lahore airport to Nawaz's Jati Umra residence. Nawaz had gone to the airport to receive Al-Thani, who was accompanied by a 13-member delegation.

After his meeting with Nawaz, Al-Thani held a meeting with the younger Sharif at the latter's Model Town residence.

Confusion prevailed around the identity of the visiting Qatari dignitary all day, as TV channels kept confusing Jassim bin Hamad — the visiting dignitary — with former Qatari PM Hamad bin Jassim, who was the author of the ‘Qatari letter’ submitted to the Supreme Court by ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case.

The confusion apparently stemmed from a Foreign Office letter, which erroneously stated that former Qatari PM Hamad bin Jassim would arrive in Lahore on Nov 29.

Al-Thani connection

The Sharif family has had long-standing business and personal relations with the Al-Thani family.

During the Panama Papers case, which lead to Nawaz's ouster as the prime minister, the PML-N head's counsel had submitted two letters authored by former Qatari premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani. The letters were marked private, confidential and not to be disclosed to any party, except for the benefit of the courts of Pakistan.

The letters had detailed the businesses dealings between Nawaz's father and the Al-Thani family.

The Joint Investigation Team, which was later formed by the apex court to probe the Sharif family's business dealings, had invited Al-Thani to record his statement in Pakistan. However, the former Qatari premier had refused and asked the JIT to record his statement at his palace.


Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that the visiting Qatari dignitary was former Qatari premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani. The visiting Qatari royal was in fact Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani. The error is regretted.