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Mar 29, 2012 at 05:57pm IST

Nawaz Sharif favours buying power from India

Lahore: Pakistan should buy electricity from India to overcome a crippling energy shortage if it is provided at an affordable rate, former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday.

"We should take this offer if India is providing electricity at an affordable rate," Sharif, the head of the main opposition PML-N party, said while interacting with reporters at Khanewal in Punjab province.

Sharif said the situation today was in marked contrast to the period when he was in power.

Nawaz Sharif favours buying power from India

Manmohan Singh had said that Yousuf Raza Gilani had asked him in Seoul if India could supply power to Pakistan.

In 1998-99, India had sought power and Pakistan was ready to supply it, he said.

"We were considering a proposal to supply electricity to India," he added.

The PML-N chief also raised the issue while addressing a public meeting at Rahim Yar Khan city.

"Twelve years ago, Pakistan was prosperous and thinking of supplying electricity to India as we had excess power. We could meet our own needs and were thinking of exporting power to India," he said.

"Today India is offering to supply electricity. Once, the Pakistani rupee was stronger than the Indian rupee. Now it is the opposite," he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani had asked him in Seoul if India could supply power to Pakistan from Punjab.

"I said we will look into it," Singh said.

However, a Pakistani media report had said that Singh offered to supply 5,000 MW of electricity during his meeting with Gilani on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in Seoul.

Pakistan's Foreign Office today said it was unaware of the offer reportedly made by the Indian side.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said any decision on such an offer would be made on the basis of recommendations from parliament.