Middle East companies show off technology solutions, products at Pakistani energy exhibit

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Dr. Nordirjon Rasulov, an employee of Camfil Middle East, can be seen here introducing clean air solutions at the 17th edition of the Pakistan Oil, Gas and Energy Exhibition on June 20, 2019. (AN Photo)
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This picture captures a general view of the exhibition hall of Karachi Expo Center where the 17th edition of the Pakistan Oil, Gas and Energy Exhibition was held on June 20, 2019. (AN Photo)
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Chinese exhibitors introduce a wide range of products that were displayed at the 17th edition of the Pakistan Oil, Gas and Energy Exhibition on June 20, 2019. (AN Photo)
Updated 22 June 2019

Middle East companies show off technology solutions, products at Pakistani energy exhibit

  • Around 223 companies from 26 countries participating in three-day-long event this year
  • Greater interest from Gulf countries drawn in by promises of opportunity as Pakistan struggles to shore up energy infrastructure

KARACHI: The 17th edition of the Pakistan Oil, Gas and Energy Exhibition kicked off in Karachi on Thursday with visible participation from Middle Eastern companies drawn in by promises of greater concessions from a country that hopes improved security in recent years will reassure foreign investors who have been deterred in the past by the threat of militant violence.
Pakistan has been under mounting pressure in recent years to shore up its creaking energy infrastructure, both to provide more reliable supplies of oil and gas to its growing population of more than 200 million and to cut reliance on expensive foreign imports.
The country is believed to have rich mineral resources, with conventional gas reserves estimated at 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf), or 560 billion cubic meters, and shale gas reserves, which are so far untouched, at more than 100 tcf.
This year, the international energy conference, which will see the participation of around 223 companies from 26 countries over the three-day-long event, saw a greater interest from Gulf countries hoping to expand their outreach in Pakistan through digital industrial solutions, services and products.
“The newer part is the technological openness of Pakistan and that is the major attraction for foreign companies,” said Aamer Khanzada, the Managing Director of Pegasus Consultancy, the organizers of the exhibition. “Exploration opportunities in Pakistan’s onshore and offshore fields are also gaining momentum. Companies from Middle East are showing increasing interest in green and clean energy. They are showing interest in investment in various sectors and are here to explore opportunities.”
A range of Saudi and UAE companies that offer digital solutions to petroleum and household sector had exhibited their products and services at Thursday’s event.
“We are offering digital partnership for the digital transformation of the energy industry, mainly related to petroleum, oil and gas,” said Ammad Ghafoor, a representative for Saudi AVEVA, which provides digital transformation services to Saudi oil giant Aramco and SABIC, a Saudi company active in petrochemicals, chemicals, industrial polymers, fertilizers, and metals.
Polyfab Plastic Industry LLC, a UAE-based manufacturer of HDPE pipes and fittings, UPV pipes and fitting and PVC duct pipes and accessories, also participated in the exhibition for the first time.
“We have been selling our products in other gulf countries and South Africa but this is our first visit to Pakistan to introduce our products here,” Mohsin Ejaz, a representative of Polyfab told Arab News.
Junaid Makda, President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he had asked Polyfab to come up with a proposal on how the company and its products could help Pakistan save financial resources.
“I have asked them that I will link them with Karachi Water and Sewerage Board for business purposes (for PVC pipes),” Makda said. “They are exporting to other countries but due to RD (Regulatory duty imposed on imports) it was not feasible for them to export to Pakistan but this can now be removed.”


'No set timeline' for Peshawar school attack commission report — spokesman

Updated 15 December 2019

'No set timeline' for Peshawar school attack commission report — spokesman

  • Over 150 people, most of them children were gunned down by Taliban militants in an attack on an army-run school in Dec. 2014
  • Parents of the victims have made calls for a high-level investigation to identify officials, both civil and military, whose negligence allowed the attack to take place

The spokesman of a commission set up last year to investigate a 2014 militant attack in which 132 children were killed in the Pakistani city of Peshawar said on Friday there was “no set timeline” for when the body would deliver its final report. 
Over 150 people, most of them children were gunned down by Taliban militants in an attack on an army-run school in the northwestern town of Peshawar on December 16, 2014, the bloodiest massacre the country had seen for years.
Last October, five years after the attack, the Supreme Court formed a one-man commission comprising Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan of the Peshawar High Court and gave him six weeks to compile a report into the causes of the attack, including official negligence. 
Over a year later, the findings of the commission have yet to be submitted before the top court.
“Justice Khan is a serving judge; whenever he gets time from his court responsibilities he works on the report,” Imran Ullah, the focal person of the commission, told Arab News when asked when the investigation would be completed and the confidential report submitted to the court. “There is no set timeline. It could take a while.”
Though Pakistan executed four men for involvement in the massacre in 2015, parents of the victims have made calls for a high-level investigation that would identify officials, both civil and military, whose negligence allowed the attack to take place. 

The parents’ plea revolves around a letter by the National Counter Terrorism Authority, written a few months prior to the assault, alerting authorities about a plan to hit an army-run educational institution.
“Why was the security of the school not increased? Why was the threat not taken seriously?” said Ajoon Khan, a lawyer who represents some of the victims’ parents and whose son was also gunned down in the attack. “All those responsible should be made accountable.”
Until now, the commission has recorded the statements of a 100 parents and 50 state officials from the military, police, and bureaucracy, the commission’s spokesman said, adding that the final report had been delayed on account of many of the statements being very long and therefore difficult to compile, as well as due to a delayed response from military officials to a list of queries.
Andaleeb Aftab, a longtime teacher at the army school, whose 16-year-old son was killed in the attack, said she had little expectation the commission would deliver justice.
“The commission has been working for over a year and so far there is only silence from their side," Abbas said. "Our children were innocent. They were young. They had their whole life in front of them. But no one wants to give us justice.”