Pak offers to sell power to India
Pakistan has offered to sell 6,000 MW of power to India, A N Ram, secretary in the external affairs ministry said here on Wednesday.
''It is a vague proposal... We have great interest if they (Pakistan) have surplus power to sell,'' he told reporters, adding that the modalities of any agreement on the sale of power by Pakistan to India would have to be worked out at a technical level.
Ram denied reports that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had denied any offer by his country to sell power to India.
On whether any more exchanges were envisaged between the two countries in the field of trade, he said India had exported sugar to Pakistan over a year ago. ''After that things have not moved too well,'' he admitted.
One reason for less trade between the two countries was that India had not been granted the most favoured nation status by Pakistan. ''But we are not pressing for anything with which they are unconfortable,'' Ram said.
The proposal for the sale of power by Pakistan was first discussed by Indian Prime Minister I K Gujral with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif during their meeting in Male on May 12. India needs the power to meet its deficit in the northern states.
It was not known whether this proposal would be discussed further when the foreign countries of the two countries resume their second round of talks in Islamabad. Asked if Pakistan would join other countries of the Sourth Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in power generation, Ram said there was no such proposal.
He said India could similarly discuss the purchase of gas and power from Bangladesh within the framework of the new grouping Bangladesh-India-Sri Lanka-Thailand Economic Cooperation, formed recently in Bangkok.
Asked about Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's statement that the prime ministers of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan would meet in Dhaka in November to discuss ways to enhance
trade and economic cooperation, Ram said, ''We are awaiting a firm proposal in this respect from Dhaka.''
Asked why India was joining various economic groups, he said that India could not remain isolated in the process of globalisation, and so would have to create an economic space in the region around with SAARC as its anchor.
In this context, he underlined the need to forge increasing links with the countries of Association of South East Asian Nations, the Indian Ocean Rim, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the North Atlantic Free Trade Area the Organisation of African Unity and countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.