Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed satisfaction that some of the world's leading manufacturers have expressed their keen interest to provide Converter Stations for CASA-1000. He pointed out that tenders for transmission lines from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan and from Tajikistan to Afghanistan have been floated and are currently being evaluated. Nawaz Sharif described CASA-1000 as a flagship project in the region connecting Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia to Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia through an electricity grid. He said on its completion, Pakistan will get 1,000 MW and Afghanistan 300 MW electricity in summer time, from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The Prime Minister said the project is an important step toward realization of the planned Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market. It will be a good example of promoting cooperation between energy-deficient South Asia and energy-rich Central Asia. The Prime Minister along with the Presidents of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and the Prrime Minister of Kyrgyzstan viewed Agri products in the exhibition. Different stalls of fruits and agriculture items were exhibited to promote Tajik agri products. The Prime Minister praised the quality of local grown fruits. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon along with other leaders also visited different parts of the Pugus palace. A trilateral meeting of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan will also be held to discuss regional security and other issues of mutual understanding.

Host: Dr. Shafiq-ur-Rehman

Analysts on Telephone:

Dr. Shahid Hassan Siddiqui (Economist):

The CASA-1000 project comprises the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of over 1200 kms long high-voltage direct current transmission system between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Pakistan via Afghanistan. This project is facing some serious hurdles. The security situation in Afghanistan is the main hurdle in completion of the project is main reason for delay in the project. It is a positive development that Prime Minister is making all out efforts to ensure the timely completion of all power projects including CASA-1000. Afghanistan must realize that delay in this project will not only affect Pakistan but will also affect Afghanistan as well.

Dr. Noor Fatima (Senior Analyst):

A lot of advancement has already been done regarding CASA-1000 project. The electricity received through this project will be much cheaper. Pakistan has strongly opposed the Afghanistan’s option to make India the part of this project. The CASA-1000 Power Project will not only bring revenues to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan but will also mitigate electricity shortages in Pakistan and Afghanistan and increase the prospects for growth. We must be hopeful that this project will be completed within specified time. Pakistan should also focus on other available resources for power projects including hydel and solar energy.

Pakistan rules out organized presence of any terror outfit- allegations about presence of Haqqani network are rhetoric- FO

Foreign Office has emphatically stated that there is no organized presence of any terror outfit including TTP, Jamaat-ul Ahrar, Daesh and Al-Qaeda on Pakistani land. Nafees Zakaria  said the allegations about presence of Haqqani network in tribal areas are mere rhetoric. This is only aimed at putting the blame of its own failures on Pakistan. The killing of a number of commanders of Haqqani network in Afghanistan clearly indicate that the group is based in Afghanistan and not operating from Pakistan. Pakistan believes in an Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process. Peace and stability in Afghanistan has direct bearing on peace and stability in Pakistan. Pakistan welcomes Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei's recent statement in which he urged the Muslims worldwide to support the oppressed people of Kashmir.

Analyst on Telephone:

Dr. Zahid Anwar Khan (IR Expert):

The statement of Foreign Office must be appreciated as Pakistan is making sincere efforts to combat terrorism and is fighting a crucial war against terrorism. New Afghan government alleges Pakistan just to divert the attention of its people from the failure of its policies. It is a fact that the killing of a number of commanders of Haqqani network in Afghanistan clearly indicates that the group is based in Afghanistan. It is the need of time that the Afghan government rather than to blame Pakistan must support Islamabad in countering terrorism and stop the cross-border movement of the terrorists. India is basically creating misunderstandings between Pakistan and Afghanistan and is also involved in worst brutalities on Kashmiri people. International community must have to discriminate between a freedom fighter and terrorists. We also welcome the statement of Iranian Supreme Leader who urged Muslim Ummah to support the oppressed Kashmiris.

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