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Pakistan Decides To Shelve Major CPEC Power Project

A leading business tycoon had proposed the project and was expected to be one of its key sponsors

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Pakistan Decides To Shelve Major CPEC Power Project. VOA

The Pakistan government has decided to shelve a major power project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that was pushed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s regime, the media reported on Monday.

Background discussions with government officials suggest that Islamabad has officially conveyed to Beijing that it was no more interested in the 1,320MW Rahim Yar Khan power project in view of sufficient generation capacity already lined up for the next few years, Dawn news reported.

It has requested China to formally delete the project from the CPEC list.

During the 8th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting held last month, a Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar “proposed to remove the Rahim Yar Khan imported fuel power plant (1,320MW) from the CPEC list, in order to provide structure optimisation space for the subsequent power market of Pakistan”, a government official said.

Imran Khan, Sikh
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is seen during talks in Beijing, China. VOA

The project was originally pushed as an imported coal-based plant by Quaid-i-Azam Thermal Company of the Punjab government led by former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

A leading business tycoon had proposed the project and was expected to be one of its key sponsors.

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The official said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has also decided to remove almost 400 “politically motivated” Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects as part of a comprehensive mid-year review later this month.

“We are reviewing all such schemes in detail; we do not want to waste public funds where lien has been created or sufficient progress achieved, but we definitely don’t like to throw good money after bad,” a cabinet member told Dawn. (IANS)

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Travel Ban Imposed on Pakistan Peoples Party Leaders Continues

In response, the PPP called the development a "dictatorial decision", Dawn said

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Imran Khan. Wikimedia Commons

The government has decided to continue a travel ban imposed on top Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders, including chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

The decision was taken at a federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Thursday, reports Dawn news.

The cabinet, at its meeting on December 27, had decided to place names of 172 suspects of the fake bank accounts and money laundering case, including top PPP leaders and Bahria Town owner Malik Riaz, on the Exit Control List (ECL).

However, the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the case, on December 31 ordered the government to review the decision.

The cabinet in its last meeting had referred the matter to a special committee of the interior ministry to review it.

Imran Khan, taliban
Travel ban to continue on Pakistan Peoples Party leaders. VOA

On Thursday, the committee presented its report to the cabinet recommending removal of 20 names from the ECL, including those of the PPP leaders.

However, Prime Minister Khan and his team rejected the recommendations and decided that the names of the top leaders of the PPP would remain on the ECL.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that names of the PPP leaders would remain on the ECL until a detailed written order of the Supreme Court was received.

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In response, the PPP called the development a “dictatorial decision”, Dawn said.

“The cabinet decision has not only exposed the ‘ugly’ face of Imran Khan but the fact that dictatorship is prevailing in the country which does not even accept the decisions of the Supreme Court,” said PPP leader Nafisa Shah in a statement. (IANS)