MoU signed with UAE for alternative energy projects

Published July 7, 2023
ISLAMABAD: (left to right) Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, UAE’s President-designate for COP28 Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman display COP28 wristbands. The UN’s climate summit will be held in the UAE towards the end of this year.—Online
ISLAMABAD: (left to right) Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, UAE’s President-designate for COP28 Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman display COP28 wristbands. The UN’s climate summit will be held in the UAE towards the end of this year.—Online

ISLAMABAD: The United Arab Emirates will develop renewable energy projects in Pakistan, as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged more companies to exploit the country’s potential in the alternative energy sector.

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Thursday in a ceremony attended by PM Shehbaz and UAE Minister for Industries and Techno­logies Sultan Al Jaber.

Power Division Secre­t­ary Rashid Mahmood Lan­grial and UAE Mini­stry of Energy and Infra­structure Under­secretary Sharif al Olama signed the MoU.

Addressing the ceremony, the PM said alternative energy projects are an opportunity for bilateral cooperation and his government plans to generate 10,000 megawatts of solar energy.

The prime minister said his government was ready to give a detailed presentation to the UAE firms on Pakistan’s potential and his government’s policies on alternative energy resources.

He vowed to “make all-out efforts to convert the MoU into an agreement and its swift realisation”.

The prime minister also thanked the UAE for inviting Pakistan to the COP28 to be held in the Emirates by the end of this year.

He particularly thanked UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the valuable and timely support to Pakistan, particularly during the delay in reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

The cooperation from the UAE, China and Saudi Arabia played a key role in sealing the IMF deal.

In his remarks, the UAE energy minister, Al Jaber, said both countries enjoyed great relations and partnership as the UAE always emphasised the importance of cooperation and identifying new ways to strengthen bilateral ties.

He assured that being the host of COP28, the UAE would ensure the development of an action plan and create a deep understanding of climate change-related issues as well as the Loss and Damage Fund.

PM lays foundation of three projects

Separately, the prime minister laid foundation-stones of three mega projects, estimating over Rs 24 billion, to connect Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Torghar district with the Buner district.

The projects included a 25km inter-district road from Torghar to Buner, 1km Karakar Tunnel in Buner and one Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) bridge on the Indus River.

During a briefing on the occasion, the prime minister was informed that the inter-district road would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 4.72 billion and ensure swift travelling and movement of the locals. It will also promote tourism and trade in the Hazara and Malakand divisions of KP.

The 1km Karakar Tunnel would cost around Rs 9.58bn and reduce the travelling distance between the Torghar and Buner districts by 11km. The tunnel would be linked with the Swat Motorway. The RCC bridge was to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 9.96bn and reduce travelling distance by 250km.

Meeting with Fowzia Siddiqui

Separately, PM Shehbaz met Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, the sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqui who has been detained by the US on terror charges for well over a decade.

This was the second meeting between the two in the last three months, as the two last met before Dr Siddiqui headed to the US to meet her sister. He directed the Foreign Ministry to remain fully engaged with the US government, as well as Pakistan’s mission in Washington, to keep a check on Dr Aafia’s well-being and continue efforts for her early release.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2023

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