| Imran Khan virtuallly addresses ‘Future of Asia’ conference | Says Asia must not become theatre of tensions | Expresses solidarity
with Palestinians against Israeli aggression
| Inaugurates 1100MW Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 | Says project will greatly benefit Pakistan in respect of technolog
ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday that Pakistan desired peaceful and cooperative relations with all its neighbours, including India.
“But, India must stop the human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and revisit the unilateral measures it took on 5 August 2019”, Prime Minister Imran Khan said in his virtual address to the 26th international conference on the ‘Future of Asia’ held in Japan.
He highlighted that it was essential that an enabling environment was created for dialogue to peacefully resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the people of Kashmir.
Imran Khan said the situation in Palestine remained a matter of deep concern for everyone and urged the international community to take urgent actions to stop the 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 of all States. “Asia must not become the theatre of tensions induced from without or within. The differences and disputes in Asia require Asian solutions on the basis of Asian values and interests,” he said.
He said for Asia to gain recovery from post-pandemic health and economic crises, a collective action of countries was necessary including expanding vaccine’s supply and keep economies open.
“To ensure rapid recovery, we in Asia, and elsewhere, must keep economies open, revive disrupted supply chains, and resist protectionist temptations,” the prime minister said in his virtual address at Nikkei’s 26th Conference on ‘Future of Asia – Shaping the Post-Covid Era: Asia’s Role in Global Recovery’.
The prime minister said unless fully contained, the pandemic could create social chaos and threaten peace and security in Asia and elsewhere in the world.
“No one will be safe unfortunately until everyone is safe…The vaccine’s supply and distribution must be immediately expanded, patent rights waived, production ramped up, including in the developing world and the COVAX facility fully extended and funded,” he said.
Imran Khan mentioned that coronavirus had created the worst global health, economic and social crisis in the past 100 years and said it was essential to provide low-income countries a fiscal space and liquidity to respond to the impact of the pandemic, revive economic growth and preserve social stability.
He recalled his earlier proposal of a five-point agenda for debt relief, SDR creation and re-allocation, larger concessional finance, fulfillment of climate finance commitments, and an end to illicit financial flows from developing countries.
He welcomed the extension of the G-20’s debt suspension initiative, the agreement to create $650 billion in new SDRs, expand IDA funding and also expand the emergency support programmes for the Multilateral Development Banks. The recommendations of the FACTI Panel on illicit financial flows must also be implemented, he added.
The prime minister said if Asian and other countries were to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, they needed to invest massively in new and sustainable infrastructure – energy, transportation, housing, agriculture and industry. He stressed that less-developed countries must be helped to prepare a pipeline of sustainable infrastructure projects.
To attract private investment, he said, such projects would need to be “de-risked” through blended finance and investment guarantees and incentives.
Imran Khan emphasized on mobilizing science and technology to accelerate sustainable growth through targeted research on innovations and applications required to advance the sustainable development and environmental goals.
He said rapid digitalization of economies was essential to ensure dynamic growth and mentioned the digital divide between advanced economies where with 87 percent of people were online compared with only 19 percent having internet access in poorest countries.
He suggested expanded investment in digital hardware and software to bridge the gap of technology.
Linking dynamic economic growth in Asia with greater physical connectivity, he said, China’s Belt and Road Initiative provided an important pathway to such regional integration across the Asia-Pacific Region and beyond. He welcomed proposals from Japan and others to support and finance quality infrastructure in Asia and elsewhere.
‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’
The prime minister said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, had generated economic activity and employment besides enhancing bilateral and regional trade.
He said Pakistan looked towards serving as a geo-economic hub connecting the economies of Central Asia, South Asia, and West Asia and beyond. However, he pointed that this potential could not be fully unleashed until the countries did not resolve their outstanding conflicts and disputes.
On Afghanistan, Imran Khan said as foreign forces withdrew from the country, it was imperative to redouble efforts to promote peace process between the Afghan parties.
“Pakistan hopes that the violence will be sharply reduced and the Afghan parties will engage constructively to secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement,” he added
“The Asia-Pacific, including the Indian Ocean, should become a Zone of Peace, an area of expanding cooperation and prosperity through strict adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and the Bandung Principles of Peaceful Co-existence”, he concluded. Ends
‘Karachi Nuclear Power Plant’
Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday virtually inaugurated the 1100-megawatt Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2 (K-2) to mark the 70th anniversary of Pakistan and China diplomatic relations.
“I am delighted to inaugurate this project that has been made possible with the collaboration between Pakistan and China,” Prime Minister said while unveiling the plaque in Islamabad at a virtual ceremony simultaneously held in Karachi and Beijing as well.
Addressing the ceremony, the Prime Minister said he is happy to inaugurate K-2 Nuclear Power Plant, established with the Chinese cooperation, on the special occasion of 70th anniversary of Pakistan-China diplomatic ties.
The 1,100 MW K-2 Nuclear Power Plant is a state-of-the-art Generation III nuclear power plant equipped with state-of-the-art safety and security arrangements.
Addressing the ceremony, the Prime Minister said he is happy to inaugurate K-2 Nuclear Power Plant, established with the Chinese cooperation, on the special occasion of 70th anniversary of Pakistan-China diplomatic ties. He said the plan will provide 1100 megawatts of clean energy to Pakistan, which is of vital importance for Pakistan that has been facing adverse impacts global warming.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the project will greatly benefit Pakistan in respect of technology transfer and training of the youth in addition to supply of clean energy. He said Pakistan and China have a unique relationship, which is getting fortified with every passing day. He said the people of Pakistan have emotional attachment with China believing that it always helps us in the hour of need. He emphasized on further enhancement of people to people contacts.
Imran Khan said Pakistan is desirous of learning from China in various sectors, including managing the fast expanding urban centres, poverty alleviation and controlling corruption. He said the scope of CPEC is being expanded from the connectivity and power sector projects to establishment of economic zones and agricultural technology.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman China Atomic Energy Authority said it is a great occasion that we are inaugurating the K-2 power plant on 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.
He said China and Pakistan have been extending support to each other and cooperating in various fields.
He said the two countries have also been cooperating in peaceful use of nuclear energy and hoped the bilateral cooperation will further expand in days to come.
According to a statement issued on Thursday, Kanupp-2 is a generation III, state-of-the-art plant with improved safety systems, especially internal and external accident prevention ability and enhanced emergency response capability.
The plant has a 60-year life expectancy, extendable to 20 more years. It is designed with higher plant availability and capacity factors, and extended refuelling cycle.
The construction of Kanupp-2 commenced in November 2013, whereas its fuel loading started on December 1, 2020 after approval from the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA).
A series of cold and hot functional commissioning tests related with plant operation and safety were conducted, before achieving criticality at the end of February this year.
After further reactor physics tests, the plant was connected to the national grid on March 18, 2021, for trial operation and power escalation tests.
The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission is now operating six nuclear power plants in the country. Two of them are located in Karachi namely Kanupp-1 and Kanupp-2, while four are at Chashma, in Mianwali district, named as Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1-4.
The Kanupp-3, with similar capacity is also in the commissioning phase and is expected to start production during the first quarter of 2022.
Earlier, the collective generation capacity of all PAEC operated NPPs was around 1,400 megawatts.
With the inauguration of Kanupp-2 having 1,100MW,Pakistan’s nuclear power generation capacity will nearly double these figures, substantially improving the overall share of nuclear power in the energy mix.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also said Friday that public opinion on the Palestine issue is being changed and the day is not far away when Palestinians will get their just rights.
In a video message to express solidarity with the people of Palestine against Israeli aggression, he said social media played a commendable role in reshaping the public opinion and now voices from western countries are also being heard in favor of Palestinians.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan, since its inception, has been pursuing a policy of supporting the Palestine issue at all forums and standing with its Palestinian brothers and sisters as per envision of its founding father Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Commending the people of Pakistan for expressing solidarity with the Palestinians today (Friday), he said Israel has committed an inhuman aggression by targeting Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the night of 27 Ramadan, which is very sacred for Muslims. He said Israeli settlers forcibly evicted some Palestinian families from their own houses.
Imran khan said just after coming to know the Israeli attacks on Palestinians, he contacted the Secretary General of OIC and urged him to take up this matter and highlight it at the UN level. He said, besides, he talked to Saudi, Turkish, and Palestinian leadership and assured them that Pakistan will stand by their Palestinian brethren in every thick and thin.
Imran Khan said he dispatched Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to highlight Israeli aggression at the UN General Assembly session, who did the job well. Ends