China’s generous and timely assistance an immense help in reinforcing Pakistan's post-flood recovery: envoy
Published: Oct 09, 2022 10:48 PM
Pakistan Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque Photo: Courtesy of the Embassy of Pakistan in China

Pakistan Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque Photo: Courtesy of the Embassy of Pakistan in China

 China's very generous and timely assistance to Pakistan is immensely helpful in reinforcing the country's post-flood recovery, Pakistan's Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Sunday.

While the capital and goods aid have been delivered from the Chinese side, the resumption of key infrastructure projects is well underway with joint efforts, according to the ambassador, including regarding safety measures for Chinese personnel and projects, a key factor to ensure the country's reconstruction.

The situation in Pakistan lingers and challenges remain for regional recovery. More than 15 million people could be pushed into poverty while the effects of these floods will be felt not just for days or even months, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday, who called on the international community to offer more support for the devastated country.

While Pakistan is suffering from one of the worst natural calamities in the shape of floods, China, as always, responded immediately to the crisis situation, the ambassador said.

Since the disaster, more than 640 million yuan ($89.94 million) worth of relief assistance in cash and kind has been committed by the Chinese central government, Chinese Army, provincial governments, NGOs and state-owned and private enterprises. Even the Chinese public has made generous cash donations to the Embassy's Flood Relief account, according to the embassy.

"The outpouring and sympathy from across China is very touching and a true reflection of our time-tested friendship," Haque said.

The Chinese government's first tranche of assistance has mostly been delivered in Pakistan through dozens of special flights which included large quantities of essential relief goods such as tents, blankets, high-energy biscuits, water purifiers and electricity generators. Teams of doctors and experts on damage assessment are traveling to Pakistan to help the flood victims, the Global Times learned.

In addition to providing financial and goods aid, the Chinese government and companies have committed to help in the post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction phase. At key infrastructure projects, including China-developed hydropower plants, efforts are well underway, despite challenges.

For example, the Karot Hydropower Station, invested in and constructed by the China Three Gorges Corporation, ran safely and stably for 100 days, with a cumulative power generation of 1.537 billion kWh. 

"Karot Hydropower Station is an important project under the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), which has added 720MW of clean energy to our national grid, thus helping reduce 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Fortunately, no damage has been caused to Karot and other hydropower projects developed by Chinese enterprises in Pakistan by the recent catastrophic floods," the ambassador said.

As we are now increasingly seeing the effects of global warming and climate change manifested in the recurring floods and other extreme weather conditions, it is important to replace traditional non-renewable sources of energy with green and renewable energy, he noted.

Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has set a target of achieving 12,000MW of solar power and clean energy projects developed by Chinese enterprises have an important role to play in augmenting Pakistan's efforts to address climate change effects and boosting Pakistan's economy, Haque said.

Thousands of local jobs have been created during the course of implementation of Karot hydropower project and other renewable energy projects.

The ambassador noted the country's determination to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and projects, which have played an increasingly important role in supporting the country's infrastructure reconstruction, especially after the devastation of the flood.

On July 14, 2021, Dasu Hydropower Station project in Pakistan suffered a terrorist attack, which had an impact on the production and operation of the project.

"The heinous attack perpetrated by the enemies of China-Pakistan friendship was a failed attempt to disrupt the rapid economic progress that Pakistan has been achieving with the help of investments and technologies brought by the Chinese enterprises," the ambassador said.

Despite the shadow posed by the terrorist attack, due to the leadership commitment and dedication of workers from both sides, work on all development projects continued, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work on Dasu resumed immediately after the tragic incident of July 14, the ambassador said.

"Pakistan attaches great importance to the safety and security of Chinese nationals and investments in Pakistan… many steps have been taken by the Pakistani government in close coordination with Chinese side to beef up the security of Chinese personnel and projects in Pakistan," Haque noted.

Pakistan and China are iron brothers and strong economic partners, and the leadership of the two countries has reiterated their strong support to timely completion of all economic projects in Pakistan, he said.

"Together we will defeat the nefarious designs of our adversaries," he said.