About the Author: Rick Snelsire serves as Spokesperson at U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
Delegations from Pakistan and the United States met on June 16 in Islamabad to continue a partnership on energy issues focused on improving the lives of the Pakistani people. Raja Pervez Ashraf, Minister of Water and Power, led the delegation for the Government of Pakistan and Mr. David A. Lipton, Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economics at the National Security Council, led the delegation for the United States.
This meeting of the Energy Working group under the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue follows the October 2009 and March 2010 bilateral energy dialogues. Discussions focused on short and medium term steps to address Pakistan's current energy shortfalls and the means to return the sector to a sustainable footing.
The Pakistani delegation presented the Government's steps to address the energy crisis, including the April 2010 Energy Summit and Prime Minister Gilani's Energy Plan. The U.S. side appreciated Pakistan's efforts to address short-term energy shortfalls and pledged to assist in their implementation. Both sides also discussed energy sector solvency and measures to craft a climate attractive to private sector investment.
The U.S. delegation confirmed its intent to assist Pakistan in addressing the hardships experienced by all Pakistanis due to energy shortfalls. They reviewed the progress in implementing the first phase of the U.S. energy program, including the rehabilitation of power facilities, tube well pump efficiency, and enhanced distribution company performance. The U.S. side also discussed future plans to address Pakistan's medium and long-term energy needs.