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Musharraf to turn to China for N-help

During his China visit, President Musharraf is likely to seek further cooperation from Beijing in installing more nuclear plants in Pakistan.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 16:11 IST
Asian News International
Asian News International

During his China visit beginning on Sunday, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is likely to seek further cooperation from Beijing in installing more nuclear power plants in Pakistan to achieve the target of 8500 MW nuclear power by 2030.

The help would be sought after the reluctance shown by the US and other European countries for extending facilities of two-three nuclear reactors, each having capacity to generate 1000 or 2000 MW electricity, Pakistan government sources said.

"President Pervez Musharraf will take up this issue of paramount importance with Chinese counterpart during his forthcoming visit to Beijing that is to start from 19th of this month," The News quoted the sources as saying.

They said that since the government was already facing stiff opposition from the US on the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, owing to the Iran's determination to enrich uranium, Islamabad is left with no option but to get more cooperation from China.

This is despite the fact that Beijing has the maximum capacity to install a nuclear plant of 600 MW, while the US and France have the capacity to install one plant of 1500-2000 MW

The sources further said that the demand of more civic nuclear cooperation, which Musharraf would will seek, would help achieve the target of achieving 8500 MW of nuclear power by 2030 set by the Pakistan government.

Pakistan's current nuclear power capacity stands at 437MW that include 137 MW of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KaNuPP-1) installed by Canada and 300 MW by Chashma Nuclear Power Plant (ChashNuPP-1) installed by China, the sources said.

Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in their last visits to the US had taken up the issue of civil nuclear cooperation keeping in view the agreement between the US and India on nuclear power plants, but the authorities concerned in the US remained 'unmoved', said the sources.

Similarly Pakistan sought the nuclear power technology from France and Italy, but the response is reported to be 'very cool.' The government is likely to again seek nuclear power technology from USA during the visit of President George Bush sometime in March.

First Published: Feb 14, 2006 14:21 IST