Long-term planning biggest strength, and key to China’s rapid progress: PM Imran Khan

By Shafqat Ali | China Economic Net Feb 15, 2022

Long-term planning biggest strength, and key to China’s rapid progress: PM Imran KhanISLAMABAD, Feb15 (China Economic Net)- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday afternoon that long-term planning was the biggest strength and a key to China’s rapid progress.

Speaking at a seminar here on hydropower development, he appreciated China’s planning for the future generations.

PM Khan, who recently visited China, mentioned that China had constructed 5000 dams, but Pakistan had only two dams built in the 1960s.

“The new under-construction mega dams would double the water storage capacity of Pakistan and would help address the issues related to climate change. They (China) do not think in terms of elections after every five years. I am proud that our government is also making long-term planning rather than thinking about elections,"he remarked.

He maintained that since Pakistan was using imported fuel for electricity generation, whenever petrol prices go up in the international market, electricity prices also rise in Pakistan and the burden increases on the public.

“If we had generated hydroelectricity, we would not have faced the present price hikes triggered by an increase in fuel prices,” he contended.

The PM observed that Pakistan had great potential for hydroelectricity but it was producing half of its electricity from oil, he said, adding unfortunately due to lack of long term planning, Pakistan was facing the present problems.

Today, he noted, “we are celebrating the decade of dams. We need water storage,"he said while observing that there were problems between provinces because of water issues.”

Imran Khan said as the Pakistani population was increasing, the country has to cultivate more land. “If there is no storage, how can we cultivate land? We have fertile land in Dera Ismail Khan and we need only water. If we arrange water for land in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will not need to get food or wheat from other provinces. Balochistan has millions of acres of uncultivated land and if we can arrange water we can export cotton and other crops. Land is also available in Thar.” he stressed.

The PM underscored that the use of tunnel technology for dams was necessary in Pakistan. He emphasized that the mountains of Pakistan were incomparable in the world and could help generate huge revenue from tourism.

“The mountainous area of Switzerland is half the size of the northern areas of Pakistan but it is generating revenue of US $ 60-70 billion from tourism. Switzerland has the best tunnel technology which makes their mountainous areas very accessible,"he continued.

The Prime Minister said the proposed Kalabagh dam was at a good site but people of Sindh would have to be convinced about the project. “We have to scientifically explain to the people of Sindh that Kalabagh dam will be beneficial for them. We are a federation and we should try to take provinces with us,"he underlined.

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