ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday pledged to learn from the Chinese experience of overcoming poverty and corruption and said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has failed to eradicate corruption as it lays its hands only on petty accused and not the bigwigs.

Speaking after formally inaugurating the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 (K-2) set up in collaboration with China, he said generation of clean energy was important owing to Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change.

The inaugural ceremony was simultaneously held via video link at K-2, Karachi, and in Beijing and also marked the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.

“We are fortunate to have China as our neighbour, a rising global power, from which we can learn a lot in multiple fields and its expertise in eradicating extreme poverty, fight against corruption and capacity to produce high-yielding crops are the examples to follow,” the prime minister said.

Inaugurates 1,100MW Karachi nuclear power plant

He said China had managed to eliminate corruption in 35 years as it initially controlled it at higher level and awarded punishment to over 425 people at ministerial level.

“Our NAB was established 22 years ago but the bureau could not tackle corruption because it always goes after petty accused and not the big ones. There is a need to lay hands on higher level corruption, [only] then it will be eradicated,” Mr Khan said.

He said Pakistan was among the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change and reversal of its fallout was vital to save coming generations. The K-2 nuclear power plant would contribute to production of clean and cost-effective energy for the benefit of people and environment, he said.

He expressed satisfaction that with strenuous efforts of the Chinese and Pakistani engineers, the K-2 plant would produce 1,100MW electricity for national grid.

The prime minister said Pakistan and China’s 30-year-long nuclear cooperation had resulted in materialising several projects, besides transfer of technology and technical expertise to Pakistani scientists and manpower.

The prime minister lauded the efforts of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in perationalisation of nuclear power plants in the country.

The event was addressed by the Chinese and other foreign officials through video link.

China Atomic Authority Chairman Zhang KeJian said launch of the K-2 nuclear plant on the 70th anniversary of establishment of Pakistan-China diplomatic ties depicted that both countries were committed to peaceful use of nuclear energy for socio-economic benefit of people.

China National Nuclear Corporation Chairman Yu Jian Feng said technology transfer and nuclear cooperation between China and Pakistan would further achieve new heights.

The director general of the IAEA in a video message said nuclear power plants are important for Pakistan to meet its rising energy needs.

The K-2 nuclear power plant has a 60-year life expectancy, extendable to a further 20 years. It is designed with higher plant availability and capacity factors and an extended refuelling cycle.

PM address Nikkei Conference

In his virtual address at Nikkei’s 26th International Conference on ‘Future of Asia — Shaping the Post-Covid Era: Asia’s Role in Global Recovery’, Prime Minister Khan said Pakistan desired peaceful and cooperative relations with all its neighbours, including India. But, he added, India must stop human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and revisit the unilateral measures it took on Aug 5, 2019.

He highlighted that it was essential that an enabling environment was created for dialogue to peacefully resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the people of Kashmir.

Mr Khan said the situation in Palestine was a matter of deep concern for everyone and urged the international community to take urgent actions to stop Israeli attacks against Palestinians, prevent the desecration of holy places, especially Al Aqsa mosque, and facilitate a just and lasting solution in line with the relevant UN resolutions.

He said it was vital to avoid great-power rivalry and tensions in the Asia-Pacific as there was ample room in Asia for economic, trade and investment participation for all states.

The prime minister stressed the need for a collective action by Asian countries to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and its impacts, including expanding vaccine’s supply, keeping economies open and gaining recovery from post-pandemic health and economic crises.

The conference was organised by Nikkei Incorporation, Japan’s largest business media group and the publisher of The Nikkei and Nikkei Asia.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2021

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