PM inaugurates 40MW coal-fired power project in Faisalabad

FAISALABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated a 40MW coal-based power project at Sitara Chemical Industries Ltd here on Saturday.

The prime minister unveiled the plaque of the project that has been completed in 27 months period costing Rs3.5 billion.

The 40MW power plant is the largest of its kind in the industrial sector of Faisalabad. The plant’s boiler is based on circulating fluidised bed combustion technology.

It is equipped with continuous emission monitoring system which monitors 24/7 the emission of the gases in the air to protect the environment.

In his address at the inauguration ceremony, the PM said previous governments must be called to account for energy and economic crises “that dragged the country into darkness”.

“In 1960 we were ahead of South Korea in development. In 1990, we were the best in the region. In 1999, we were the top economy in South Asia but in 2013, we stood last,” he said.

He said the government is investing heavily in the energy sector to rid the country of energy deficit by 2018.

“Commissioning of this power plant is a step towards achieving self-reliance in power generation. Such initiatives by the private sector are extremely encouraging and will prove helpful in overcoming the energy shortage in the country,” the PM said.

“A policy of energy mix that focuses on diverse sources of energy is earnestly pursued at the government level.”

Since the opposition has started re-building pressure on the government over Panama Papers leaks, Model Town killings and corruption issues, the premier has also embarked on what analysts say a mass-contact drive and is frequently inaugurating different development schemes or announcing public welfare plans.

He inaugurated the construction of the Lahore Eastern Bypass at Kala Shah Kaku on the outskirts of the provincial capital a day earlier.

In Faisalabad, the prime minister was accompanied by Punjab Governor Malik Rafiq Rajwana, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir and Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali.

Pakistan deploys army helicopter in search for missing US climbers

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan stepped up its search for two Americans climbers Saturday, deploying army helicopters to find the pair who went missing 10 days ago while trying to summit a peak in the Karakoram mountains.

Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson began their ascent of the 7,285-metre Ogre-II peak off the Choktoi Glacier in the Gilgit-Baltistan on Sunday August 21, but went missing the next day and have not been seen since.

“Two helicopters belonging to military aviation flew over the mountains Saturday morning but there was no sign of the climbers,” Karrar Haidri, a spokesman for the Alpine Club of Pakistan told AFP.

“The search goes on,” he added.

The helicopter search has been delayed for days because of the adverse weather conditions.

Authorities said that a team of local high-altitude rescuers has been searching for the missing climbers for almost a week but bad weather has prevented them from ascending the peak.

Pakistan has long been a draw for foreign climbers lured by some of the most spectacular mountains on Earth, including the savage K2, the world’s second highest peak.

Militants who stormed Peshawar’s Christian Colony were foreigners: Nisar

MARDAN: The four suicide bombers who stormed Peshawar’s Christian Colony a day earlier were foreigners but it was yet to be ascertained which countries they belonged to, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Saturday.

“We had intelligence alert about a possible militant attack in three to four areas in Peshawar,” Nisar said during a press briefing in Mardan.

Terrorists struck Mardan and Peshawar on Friday, killing 14 people and injuring 49 in a day that could have ended with a higher number of deaths had four of the suicide bombers not been killed before they could set off their explosives.

“Pakistan’s security forces have won a difficult war but there is still more to be done to eradicate terrorism entirely,” Nisar said, adding that “previously there were attacks every other day, now they happen in months”.

However, the interior minister admitted that the security situation in the country is not entirely under control.

“We have yet to take financiers of terrorism to task,” he said.

Nisar said Pakistan’s war against terrorism was for its own survival. “To do politics on terrorist attacks is like putting the country’s future at stake.”

The attacks in Peshawar and Mardan happened barely a day after Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asim Bajwa gave an exhaustive rundown of progress made against militants in the country’s northwestern region in Operation Zarb-i-Azb which was launched in June 2014.