Book on Thar coal launched
By: Peerzada Salman
KARACHI: A book titled ‘Thar coal: salvation paradigm’ by seasoned journalist Shamim-ur-Rehman was launched at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday.
Speaking as the chief guest of the event, Sindh Minister for Power Shazia Marri said many countries in the world had been using coal for energy generation and Pakistan would be soon joining them.
She lauded the author’s efforts in taking out the book which she said provided useful analysis on the subject.
Referring to comments by one of the speakers about the government’s failure to deliver in comparison with the previous regime, the minister argued that comparing democratic dispensation with a dictatorial one would be unfair.
Provincial Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah said that the book was a timely contribution, because with the projects undertaken vis-Ã -vis Thar coal not just Sindh but the entire region would benefit.
He recalled the time when during Gen Musharraf’s rule investors and ‘friends’ were mistreated and they left Thar. He said it was difficult to regain the confidence of investors, which his government had done, and in the future the projects would start bearing fruit.
Shedding light on the genesis of the book, Shamim-ur-Rehman said the severe energy crisis, which could not be resolved overnight, was a result of inefficient management over the years more than anything else.
In order to seek the solution to the problem, the author said he started compiling documents related to it and managed to gather 7,000 to 8,000 pages. He then decided to focus on one sector so that an alternative option for energy production could be arrived at.
He said since Pakistan had coal deposits in a huge quantity and it’s an affordable source, he came up with this book. For the purpose he was aided by experts like renowned scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand (who contributed a chapter in the book), Engineer Basharat Cheema, Khalid Mansoor and others.
He said if the K.T. Bunder project which was planned during Benazir Bhutto’s tenure in the early ‘90s had not been closed down the country wouldn’t have faced the energy crisis.
Senior PPP leader Taj Haider said the surplus energy that was there during the democratic rule of Benazir Bhutto turned into deficit during the military rule.
He said that former prime minister Shaukat Aziz was elected from Thar without visiting it and yet he didn’t do anything about energy production.
He extensively spoke on the projects planned or initiated during Benazir Bhutto’s stint and mentioned the problems that her government faced in implementing them.
He also informed the media on the current projects in detail, which he claimed were in an advanced stage.
He praised Shamim-ur-RehmanÂ’s journalistic acumen by saying he brought commitment and passion to his writing.
Journalist Sarfaraz Ahmed and Karachi Press Club president Tahir Hasan Khan also spoke.
KPC secretary Moosa Kaleem conducted the event.