Pardee School hosts talk on energy crisis in Pakistan

July 26th, 2014

In collaboration with the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN) New England, the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies organized a lecture by Dr. Musadik Malik, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, on “Pakistan’s Energy Crisis: Hurdles, Solutions and Investment Opportunities” on July 26, 2014.

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Pakistan finds itself mired in a serious energy crisis that, by some estimates, leaves the country with 8-12 (and sometimes more) hours a day without any electricity. This has had severe consequences on the economy, society and politics of the country which is also embroiled in myraid internal security problems. The speaker outlined the nature and severity of Pakistan’s energy challenges – and, in particular, the implications of the country’s severe energy poverty. He went on to outline the significant governance and political hurdles to change before explaining the strategy the government has prepared (under his lead) to deal with the crisis.

Dr. Malik stressed that the change strategy – which includes focusing on effeciency, sustainability and transparency in the energy sector in Pakistan – enjoys the support and comittment from the highest political levels in the country. He pointed out that the strategy calls for addition of significant new capacity as well as sweeping changes in energy governance. He felt that while the country’s energy challenges are great, the opportunity for investing and benefiting from a turn around are also great.

The well-informed and engaged audience had many questions to ask of the speaker, including on the future energy mix in the country (plans include expansion of both coal and nuclear plants), likelihood of privatising energy utilities, and practical options for improving energy governance.

The President of OPEN New England, Kewan Khawaja, thanked the speaker on behalf of the hosts.