Pakistan to build six nuclear power plants

Updated 18 March 2014

Pakistan to build six nuclear power plants

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced Tuesday that his country will build six civil nuclear power plants.
Speaking at a function, Coastal Power Project K-II and K-III in Karachi, Sharif said the country’s Atomic Energy Commission has identified six sites where civil nuclear power plants could be built, The News International reported.
According to the prime minister, Pakistan would produce 40,000 MW of power from nuclear plants till 2050 and the government’s priority was to start work on power projects to overcome the energy shortage.
Sharif on Tuesday launched the construction of the country’s biggest atomic power plant and vowed to pursue further projects to make nuclear the largest energy source.
The 2,200-megawatt plant is to be built with Chinese technical assistance on the Arabian Sea coast at Paradise Beach, 40 km (25 miles) west of Karachi.
Pakistan already has three operational nuclear plants generating a total of around 740 MW of power and has begun work on a fourth, in addition to the one launched Tuesday.
The government hopes nuclear will ultimately provide a relatively low-cost solution to the power cuts — known euphemistically as “load-shedding” — that blight life in Pakistan.
Mismanagement, corruption and an over-reliance on expensive imported fuels have left the energy sector in dire straits, with hours-long blackouts a daily reality in the summer months.
“This is one of the first steps of our goal of racing toward a load-shedding-free Pakistan,” Sharif told the audience at the site of the plant.
The World Nuclear Association has estimated the cost of the new project at nearly $10 billion.
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission engineers will work on the project with help from the China Atomic Energy Authority.
As Pakistan is not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it is excluded from the international trade in nuclear materials and technology, and can rely only on its neighbor China for help.
Sharif pledged to increase nuclear power generation capacity to 40,000 MW in the long term as part of his energy plan.
A few kilometers further west of the new nuclear power project, an energy park is being built at Gaddani beach in Baluchistan province, with plans for 6,600 MW coal-fired power projects.


India arrests senior Kashmir leader under controversial law

Updated 9 min 12 sec ago

India arrests senior Kashmir leader under controversial law

  • Farooq Abdullah, 81, who also was the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested at his residence in Srinagar
  • ‘We have arrested him, and a committee will decide how long the arrest will be’
NEW DELHI: A Parliament member who is a senior pro-India politician in Indian-controlled Kashmir was arrested Monday under a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial.
Farooq Abdullah, 81, who also was the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested at his residence in Srinagar, the summer capital and main city of the disputed Himalayan region.
“We have arrested him, and a committee will decide how long the arrest will be,” said Muneer Khan, a top police official.
Abdullah is the first pro-India politician who has been arrested under the Public Safety Act, under which rights activists say more than 20,000 Kashmiris have been detained in the last two decades.
Amnesty International has called the PSA a “lawless law,” and rights groups say India has used the law to stifle dissent and circumvent the criminal justice system, undermining accountability, transparency, and respect for human rights.
The PSA came into effect in 1978, under the government of Abdullah’s father, who himself was a highly popular Kashmir leader.
The law, in its early days, was supposedly meant to target timber smugglers in Kashmir. After an armed rebellion started in the region in 1989, the law was used against rebels and anti-India protesters.
Abdullah’s residence was declared a subsidiary jail and he was put under house arrest on Aug. 5 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government in New Delhi stripped Jammu and Kashmir of semi-autonomy and statehood, creating two federal territories.
Thousands of additional Indian troops were sent to the Kashmir Valley, already one of the world’s most militarized regions. Telephone communications, cellphone coverage, broadband Internet and cable TV services were cut for the valley’s 7 million people, although some communications have been gradually restored.
On Aug. 6, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah denied to the lower house of Parliament that Abdullah had been detained or arrested.
“If he (Abdullah) does not want to come out of his house, he cannot be brought out at gunpoint,” Shah said, when other parliamentarians expressed concern over Abdullah’s absence during the debate on Kashmir’s status.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sought a response from the central government and the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea seeking to produce Abdullah before the court.
Many anti-India protesters as well as pro-India Kashmiri leaders have been held in jails and other makeshift facilities to contain protests against India’s decisions, according to police officials.
Kashmir’s special status was instituted shortly after India achieved independence from Britain in 1947. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in its entirety, but each control only part of it.
India has often tried to suppress uprisings in the region, including a bloody armed rebellion in 1989. About 70,000 people have been killed since that uprising and a subsequent Indian military crackdown.