Monday, April 19, 2010

PEPCO damaging public interest

 By Umer Bhatti 

Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) is purchasing one unit (1kWh) of thermal generation for a maximum of Rs38 and a minimum of Rs0.5, and still the Ministry of Water and Power and Pepco itself are going to engage new Rental Power Plants (RPPs) and the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which will be damaging the consumers’ interests at large.

The News has learnt Pepco is paying the highest price of Rs38 (Energy Purchase Price (EPP), fuel plus variable operation and maintenance cost) to the Kotri Power Plant for generation from its unit 1-2, which is being run by the company on much expensive High Speed Diesel (HSD). On the other hand, the company is paying a minimum of Rs0.5 to UCH power plant, a gas-run IPP, for the purchase of energy up to first 153MW of power generated. The rate of electricity keeps on increasing as the power plant produces more electricity than the above mentioned capacity because the slab of the power purchase increases in the same way as the consumer slabs to pay the electricity bill increases.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Is Lashkar-e-Taiba a real global threat?

By Abdullah Muntazir
There is a debate going on in the west on the issue of a possible threat from Lashkar-e-Taiba – A Jihadi group fighting against Indian occupation of Kashmir and blamed for Mumbai attacks in 2008 – to the western interests. There is no doubt Lashkar hates United States for a number of reasons. Apart from the widespread anti-America resentment in almost all Islamic groups across the globe, the group has some of its own reasons to dislike US. US declared Lashkar-e-Taiba a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) a few months after 9/11 without any substantial reason. The group until then never attacked or planned any attack on US interests. Its focus was totally on Kashmir against Indian forces.
The group believes that by declaring it terrorist organization US wanted to please India and press Pakistan to back off from freedom struggle in Kashmir. Despite its anger the group refrained from attacking US interests in the region but US was not satisfied with its own measures by putting Lashkar on FTO list of the State Department and went to UN Security Council in 2005 for international sanctions against the group. Eventually UNSC put the group in the list of Al-Qaeda and Taliban affiliates and asked the member countries to freeze its assets and impose embargo on
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