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PM breaks ground on $3.48bn Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit-5

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  • Project to be complete within seven to eight years.
  • PM Shehbaz Sharif terms project huge milestone.
  • “Risk of potential default has been completely averted.”

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday broke ground on the 1,200 MW Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit 5 (C-5) in Mianwali, which is likely to be completed in seven to eight years at a cost of around $3.48 billion.

On June 30, 2023, the prime minister witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the C-5 project between China National Nuclear Corporation Overseas Ltd (CNOS) and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony at Chashma, the prime minister said the project should be completed before the given schedule keeping in mind the country’s requirements for clean and cheap energy sources.

Terming it a huge milestone and a symbol of cooperation between the two great friends — China and Pakistan — Shehbaz said the project would help the country promote clean, efficient and comparatively cheaper energy.

He said after a pause of many years, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was going again in full swing. He gave the credit of concluding the agreement of C-5 to the coalition government and the SPD for their hard efforts.

“Our detractors had been fabricating rumours all around that Pakistan was going to default on its sovereign commitments but we crossed all turbulent waters in just 15 months,” he added.

However, he said the risk of potential default had been completely averted through the team effort of the government.

The prime minister said a couple of days ago, there was an approval of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, and within 48 hours, around $4.5 billion were transferred by Pakistan’s brotherly countries Saudi Arabia and UAE, besides another $1.2 billion from the IMF.

About four months ago, he said the Chinese government and commercial banks rolled over amounts back to Pakistan to the tune of $5 billion.

He paid his tributes to Chinese President XI Jinping, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for their support in the hour of need.

He informed that due to serious efforts by the coalition government and himself, the Chinese company kept the project cost at the level agreed upon in 2017-18 by the then-PML-N government and did not include the average inflation of around 10% in the project cost.

Further, he said on his request that a discount of Rs30 billion was also given to Pakistan, reflecting a sense of sincerity between the two countries.

Charge D’affaires of the Chinese embassy in Pakistan, Pang Chunxue, said C5 would help Pakistan build low-carbon, clean, and cheap energy, which would also produce local jobs and engage the local industries to contribute to the project.

Chairman of China National Nuclear Cooperation Yu Jianfeng said cooperation between Pakistan and China in nuclear energy had become an integral part of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.

He said the C5 project was a significant milestone in the HPR 1,000 development global journey. Hualong One (HPR 1000) is the 3rd-generation nuclear power brand to which China has exclusive intellectual property rights.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, and Chairman PAEC Dr Raja Ali Raza were also present on the occasion.

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No “major breakthrough” in the opposition-led JUI-F and PTI meeting

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Maulana Fazalur Rehman stated that mending rifts in relationships and getting rid of resentment in an interview with the media in Islamabad with a team from the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Ayeen-e-Pakistan that paid him a visit.

While no significant progress was made at the meeting, all sides decided to keep in touch in order to plan for the future.

“A positive message,” according to the JUI-F chief, was received with open arms by the delegation. Taking a “united” stance on national issues was the primary goal of the meeting, he said.

Democracy is losing its appeal, and Pakistan’s parliament and constitution are losing their respect. In parliament, Maulana Fazalur Rehman continued, “we should have a single voice.”

Remarking on the event, National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub thanked the JUI-F leader for ‘warmly’ receiving the group.

We had a fruitful discussion in the meeting, he declared, urging the opposition parties to work with the PTI to “protect” the constitution.

Constitutional violations and a lack of a rule of law are the claims made by Omar Ayub. According to him, there was “no reason” why the police searched the PTI’s Islamabad central secretariat office.

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In the instance of illegal recruitment, Pervaiz Elahi is granted bail.

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The earlier-reserved court ruling was delivered by LHC Judge Sultan Tanveer Ahmad on Tuesday.

LHC had filed a post-arrest bail motion, according to the former chief minister.

On October 25, 2023, Pervaiz was taken into custody by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

From June 1 to September 18, Elahi has been arrested in a number of crimes; the most recent one was reported by the Punjab ACE on September 18.

More: Pervaiz Elahi’s condition “deteriorated” in Adiala jail; he was hurried to PIMS.

In the Punjab Assembly, Elahi illegally hired 12 people for grade 17 positions, according to information provided by an ACE representative.

In the provincial assembly, the candidates were chosen through record-altering.

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The bail petition of Parvez Elahi in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by the ATC.

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A bail application filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party, in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on the grounds of prematurity.

ATC Judge Arshad Javed announced the decision during today’s hearing.

The counsel representing Parvez Elahi contended that there was a significant likelihood of his client being arrested in relation to the Jinnah House attack case. It was stated that the ex-Chief Minister had previously been held in custody on judicial remand in other cases.

The petitioner requested the court to authorise the release of Parvez Elahi on bail in the Jinnah House attack case.

Nevertheless, the prosecution argued that the bail petition did not meet the necessary legal criteria, emphasising that Parvez Elahi had not been apprehended in connection with the case.

Considering these considerations, the court rejected Parvez Elahi’s request for release, stating that it was premature since he had not been arrested in the Jinnah House attack case.

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