ISLAMABAD, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan Monday signed an agreement to import 1,300 megawatt electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan through Afghanistan to overcome power shortage in the summer season, officials said.
The agreement was signed by Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan at a two-day meeting of the inter-governmental council of the Central Asia South Asia (CASA) transmission and trade project in Islamabad.
Pakistani Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif said the project "CASA-1000 will bring in clean and affordable hydro- electricity to the country's energy starved national grid."
The minister said power shortage is one of the biggest challenges for Pakistan as the people is subjected to long hours of load-shedding and the deficit of electricity had reached around 5,000 MW during summer.
Afghanistan Minister for Energy and Water Al-Haj Mohammad Esmail said the project would further strengthen ties between the four countries and help boost their economies.
About the security, the Afghan minister said each partner had to play its role to protect the transmission line passing through their part.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Energy Musadaq Malik said the work on the project would start in 2014 and complete in two or three years to add 1,300 MW to the national grid and provide cheaper electricity to the country's consumers at summer season.
He said Afghanistan has provided sovereign guaranty to guard and protect the transmission line, adding that the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Gulf Coordination Group would support the CASA-1000.