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Pakistan asks West to support its nuclear energy programme

Source: PTI
September 13, 2005 01:04 IST
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Offering to meet all safeguards proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Pakistan on Monday asked the western countries, especially the United States, to provide nuclear technology to generate power to meet the country's growing energy requirements.

"Pakistan has expanded requirement for energy and we have plans to generate 8,800 megawatt electricity through nuclear means by the year 2030.

"We would like the developed countries, especially the United States to extend cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy," Foreign Office spokesman Naeem Khan told a media conference in Islamabad.

His comments followed reports in local media on Monday that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, in his forthcoming meeting with US President George W Bush in New York, would press for a deal similar to the one the US has entered with India on the civilian nuclear technology.

Local newspaper Daily Times has quoted officials as saying that Pakistan would make the US support to its nuclear technology a condition if it pressured to abandon the India-Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline due to Washington's conflict with Tehran over the latter's nuclear programme.

Khan said the US and European Union countries should provide technological access to Pakistan to generate nuclear power on the lines of China's similar ongoing cooperation with Islamabad.

Pakistan currently operates two nuclear power plants, Chashma Unit-1 and KANUPP, for energy generation while the second unit under the Chashma project is being installed with Chinese assistance.

It currently produces 450 megawatts of nuclear power and hopes to generate 8000 megawatts by 2030.

On the just-concluded Indo-Pak petroleum secretary-level talks on pipeline issue, Khan said both countries have asked for independent verification of Iran's gas reserves for the project. The Joint Working Group has agreed to lay a 56-inch diameter pipeline to receive 5.6 billion cubic feet gas per day by 2015.

He said Pakistan Petroleum Minister Amanullah Khan Jadoon would visit India in October 2005, while Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar would come to Islamabad in December to finalise the trilateral framework for the pipeline project.

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