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Pakistan Withdraws Key Power Project From CPEC - Reports

CC0 / / Flag of Pakistan
Flag of Pakistan - Sputnik International
A Chinese studies scholar has observed that the pullout does not necessarily indicate Pakistan’s loss of interest in CPEC but points to the fact that the current dispensation in Pakistan is adopting a pragmatic approach of weighing the advantages of taking huge loans from China for projects that may eventually prove futile.

Pakistan has decided to shelve a key power project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in view of the country's sufficient generation capacity. The government of Pakistan has already officially conveyed to China that it is no more interested in the 1320 MW Rahim Yar Khan power project while asking China to formally delete the project from the CPEC list, Pakistani newspaper The Dawn reported on Monday.

Analysing the development, an Indian professor of Chinese studies opines that step by the new government under Prime Minister Imran Khan is cautiously evaluating the projects to avoid increasing unnecessary financial obligations

READ MORE: Pakistan, China Call Media Report on CPEC 'Distorted', 'Ill-Intentioned'

"It not that Pakistan is losing interest in the CPEC but it is about getting the maximum out of what is there. China has invested a lot and surely wants a payback. Pakistan has been rethinking its strategy of taking huge amount as debt, which it is unable to repay. Some projects of CPEC face feasibility issues as they were signed in haste without due consideration of outcomes", Dr Geeta Kochhar, Assitant Professor at the Centre for Chinese and South-East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and visiting fellow in Fudan University, China told Sputnik.

In this photograph taken on November 13, 2016, Pakistani personnel stand on a ship carrying containers at the Gwadar port, some 700 kms west of Karachi, during the opening ceremony of a pilot trade programme between Pakistan and China - Sputnik International
China-Pakistan Corridor Not Tied to India-Pakistan Territorial Dispute - Beijing
During the 8th Joint Coordination Committee meeting held last month, a Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar proposed removing the Rahim Yar Khan coal-based power plant to provide structure optimisation space for the subsequent power market of Pakistan, an official who cited the minutes of the Joint Coordination Committee meeting which was held on 20 December 2018 was quoted as saying by the Pakistani daily.

READ MORE: Gwadar to Become the Next Dubai, Vital for CPEC, Investment Company Says

CPEC aims to connect Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province.

The Rahim Yar Khan power plant was pursued by the Quaid-i-Azam Thermal Company from Pakistan's Punjab government led by Shahbaz Sharif, brother of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The project was removed from the priority list of the CPEC after it was found that surplus generation capacity had already been contracted and more contracts would lead the country to a capacity trap.

The views and opinions expressed by speaker in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.

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