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February 10, 2012

Germany cautions Pakistan on nuclear power generation risks


February 10, 2012

KARACHI: Dr Tilo Klinner, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, on Thursday advised Pakistan to avoid seeking electricity generation from nuclear technology as it has both security and other environmental threats.
“A lot of risk is involved in electricity generation from nuclear technology. Not only security threat is involved, but the nuclear waste is also a big problem,” he said at a meeting with members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
The German consul general was replying to KCCI President Mian Abrar Ahmed’s proposal that Germany should support Pakistan towards advancement of civil nuclear use. Dr Klinner admitted that energy is the biggest issue in Pakistan, which incurred immense damage to the country’s economy.
He assured investors support to improve the energy crisis in Pakistan, but said that the circular debt should be resolved before attracting investment in this field.
The German consul general said that there are many ways of cooperation in the alternative energy, including wind and solar. “Solar energy is promising for further cooperation,” he said.
He also assured cooperation in the energy generation through coal. He, however, said that the potential of electricity generation is there, but there is no easy way of producing, besides reducing carbon is another issue.
To another proposal about joint venture in corporate farming, the German consul general expressed concerns over the proposal, saying locals usually did not accept foreign intervention on their land.
About the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) at Pakistan-Afghanistan border, he said, German investment towards this area would be difficult because investors would prefer stability first.
Dr Klinner welcomed Pakistan-India trade dialogue and appreciated the KCCI for forming Bombay-Karachi Chamber.
“These efforts will boost Pakistan-India trade, besides regional trade will also benefit,” he added. He assured

support towards improvement in vocational training programmes in Pakistan.
Earlier, Ahmed said that the European Union (EU) countries should give more market access to Pakistan instead of talking about aid. Pakistani textile is not given proper access to the EU, whereas Bangladesh was granted bigger market access due to the status of least-developed country, he said.
He apprised the consul general about energy crisis in Pakistan and said due to the outside interference, Pakistan is unable to materialise Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. “The Iran nuclear programme should not affect the Pakistan natural gas programme,” he added.
Germany can help Pakistan in setting up small dams for hydel power generation, he said, adding that Pakistan has a large number of waterfalls, which have potential of electricity generation through small dams. — Shahnawaz Akhter

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