Director Media,National Assembly of Pakistan
Last year when world leaders geared up for reaching an international climate deal in Paris, Pakistan’s Parliament decided to go green like its flag. Pakistan’s Parliament became the first ever Parliament in the world to be completely powered by Solar Energy. The installation of 1MW Solar Panel System will save 2500 tons of carbondioxide emissions per annum; Rs12 million in electricity billing and contribute (No of electricity units) to national grid. This feat would have never been a possibility without Chinese generous assistance. This gift from China has earned immense gratitude from members of Pakistan’s Parliament and general public.
In a general trade of interests, Pakistan’s engagement with China has always been productive. Dating back to Pakistan’s initial diplomatic endeavors for facilitating China’s entry into United Nations, the robust Pak-China relations have never lost its vitality. Pakistan brought a hinge in US-China relations when it facilitated Kissinger’s secret visit to China at the height of cold war. This breakthrough not only ended China’s isolation in global community but also opened a new era of Sino-US engagement.
On the other hand, China unlike other foreign powers has never been a cause of instability in Pakistan. Be it technical or economic assistance, military or diplomatic support, Pakistan has always relied on China. This engagement is not based on anti-India alliance for a relation based on common enemy is never lasting. Based on shared strategic and regional interests, China and Pakistan have always appreciated each others sensitivities. China’s has lived up to be Pakistan’s most reliable partner.
The incumbent government inherited crippling energy crisis which posed a formidable challenge to Pakistan’s economic, political and environmental composition. The endemic power shortages not only threatened our industrial base but also our domestic tranquility. However, nations learn from historical crisis. Innovation and creativity flourishes once challenged.
The current energy crisis has shaken our national conscience. The challenge is more a scientific, administrative and diplomatic in nature-for Pakistan is placed in close vicinity to the world’s energy hubs. Given its own ability to produce more than 100,000 MW from solar energy and establish wind energy corridors, the voices for investment in alternate renewable energy resources grew louder. In the backdrop of such voices the national leadership’s sole preoccupation is restraining Pakistan’s unending power cuts. However, in the quest for restraining Pakistan’s descend into power scarcity, Chinese leadership’s personal interest in easing Pakistan’s energy crisis deserves candid appreciation.This solar project has been completed under the dynamic vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif together with the commitment of dedication of Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq within a very short span of 7 month.
When President Xi offered construction of Solar Power Plan at Parliament of Pakistan, it entailed introduction of Net-Metering and Feed-in Tariffs. For investment facilitation in solar power panels, Nepra approved Net Metering Regulation in 2015. In this regard the first experiment of Net-Metering and Feed-in-tariffs as revolutionary trend in energy sector was based in Parliament House. This single initiative enabled Parliament to be a net contributor to the national grid. This achievement should serve to unleash a new wave of investment in alternate renewable energy sources.
The timely completion of Solar Power Plant at Parliament House has bolstered confidence of Pakistan’s Parliamentarians and general public in Chinese-led initiatives in Pakistan. Timely achievement of this feat has multiplied expectations from CPEC which is not only a network of roads, energy pipelines and ports but entails a springboard for speeding up China’s rise as super power and revitalising the long sought dream of economic prosperity in Pakistan. The success story has reassured the world of Chinese commitment and serves as an acid test to dispel all fears and doubts about CPEC.
With endless possibilities of deepening cooperation and achieving shared prosperity, CPEC is a road network that never ends. Pakistan and China has embarked on a never finishing journey of cooperation. This generous gift from Pakistan’s ‘all weather’, ‘time-tested’ friend, China, truly reflects the vitality of ever-green Sino-Pak relations.