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China backs Pak's right to use N-energy

Source: PTI
August 25, 2009 15:22 IST
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China has supported its 'all-weather' ally Pakistan's right to use nuclear energy for "peaceful purposes" to overcome its crippling power shortage, a spokesman of President Asif Ali Zardari said today.

"We would appeal the world community to understand Pakistan's requirements in this regard," Farhatullah Babar quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi as saying, when the Pakistani President met him last night.

Pakistan has the right to nuclear energy to overcome its power shortage and utilise it for "peaceful purposes", Yang said, the official APP news agency reported today.

China is already assisting Pakistan in producing nuclear energy. However, Islamabad's attempt to seek nuclear know-how from the US has not been successful. Babar said Zardari is visiting China for the fourth time since September to study the China model of development. Pakistan faces a crippling energy crisis, as it is only able to produce about 80 per cent of the electricity it needs, causing blackouts and hurting its industries.

During Zardari's ongoing visit, Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for the construction of a hydro power station at Bunji in Northern Areas on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. The dam is estimated to cost around USD 7 billion and will have a capacity to generate 7,000 megawatts of electricity. 

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