ISLAMABAD: State Grid of China will help build a 4,000 MW power transmission line in Pakistan in a project valued at $1.5 billion, a statement issued by the PM House said on Friday, the latest in a series of Chinese investments in the country.
The high-capacity transmission line will be the first of its kind in Pakistan and will link Matiari town, near a new power station, to Lahore city, a key link in transmission infrastructure.
An agreement on the project was signed on Thursday in Beijing between Mohammad Younus Dagha, secretary of water and power, and Shu Yinbiao, chairman of State Grid Corporation of China, the statement added.
Construction will begin in January, and should take about 20 months, said a spokesperson for the prime minister’s office.
The project is the latest in a series of big Chinese investments, most of which fall under a planned $55 billion worth of projects for a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The corridor is a combination of power and infrastructure projects that link western China to Pakistan’s Gwadar.
Other Chinese investment in Pakistan has included the acquisition of a majority stake by Shanghai Electric of the K-Electric power production and distribution company for $1.8 billion.
Last week, a Chinese-led consortium bought a 40 percent stake of the Pakistan Stock Exchange for an estimated $85 million.
Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said around 450,000 fake Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) had been blocked during last three and a half years.
Over 32,000 passports were also revoked during the period, he said this while addressing a press conference here at National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) headquarters.
Giving comparison of present and previous regimes regarding blocked CNICs, the minister claimed that no action was taken against bogus identity cards before 2011, however, the present government realized the issue and started national re-verification campaign of CNICs.
The verification process of CNICs was branded ‘impossible’ by a section of media, however, the government proved them wrong and successfully completed the task, he said.
He admitted that the Nadra had issues, however, the government was bringing reforms and introducing solutions with the passage of time.
Nisar said the recovery of Pakistani identity cards from terrorists had damaged the country on different levels and added only 26 fake CNICs were cancelled in 2011, 493 in 2012, 6,000 in 2013, 22,000 in 2014, 96,000 in 2015 and around 223,512 in 2016.
He said no concrete steps were taken in the past and during the tenure of last government only 517 CNICs and few passports were blocked. There was no example of verification before 2011.
He appreciated officers and officials of Nadra and also media for their effective and praiseworthy role in six-month verification process and said the officials of Nadra involved in issuing illegal national documents would be brought to justice.
The minister said mobile phones SIMs were also verified through bio-metric system and after completion of the process millions of SIMs were blocked.
He said during the campaign, Nadra sent 101 million SMS to family heads asking them to verify their family members. Around 86,380 intruders were found during the six-month drive which were identified by the citizens, he added.
Nisar said proactive efforts were being made to restore the CNICs of those who had valid documents. He announced to form an 18-member parliamentary committee to oversee the verification process of CNICs and NADRA would brief the committee every month and decisions would be taken on fast-track basis.
Answering a question, he said everyone was equal in eyes of the law and indiscriminate actions were being taken against all the criminal cases.
He said the committee probing the news leak issue had been given a one month extension to submit its report which would be made public.
All cases against corruption would be taken to logical conclusion according to the law, he replied to another query.
Answering another query about money laundering allegedly carried out by Khanani and Kalia, he said majority of record had been destroyed in the case to hide facts and announced to constitute a committee next month to further investigate the matter.