FATA’s oil & gas reserves can solve Pakistan’s energy crisis: Dr. Gulfraz

ISLAMABAD, Sept 20 (INP): Former secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Gulfraz Ahmed has said that optimal exploitation of FATA’s sizeable reserves of oil and gas can help the country get rid of its energy shortages and pave the way for socio-economic uplift of the tribal region itself. Constitutional and governance issues, however, need to be tackled without further delay.

He stated this while addressing a seminar entitled, ‘Development Initiatives in FATA (II) Oil and Gas Sector: Prospects and Strategies’, held at the Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad on Saturday, which was part of a series of such programs addressing diverse aspects concerning Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Dr. Gulfraz Ahmed, Professor Dr. Fazle Rabbi, nominee coordinator in KPK for Oil & Gas Exploration in FATA, speaking during the seminar focused on potential reserves and the exploration and excavation of resources that can start a new era of development and prosperity in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

The former secretary petroleum said that in the post 18th amendment era, the ownership and management of oil and gas was shared equally between the federal and provincial governments, while the revenues of production fields were entirely rewarded to the province itself. FATA, however, was left out of the equation undeservedly, resulting in its entire production accumulating into the central pool.

He maintained that if the royalties of its resources were duly given to FATA, it would result in the socio-economic uplift of the region alongside the development of sense of ownership among its dwellers.

Dr. Gulfraz further stated that the oil and gas companies’ world over sniff for the potential reserves of this natural resource, and while FATA is among the brightest prospects of such reservoirs; its security situation is a matter of concern for these extra sensitive corporations. Due to this, according to him, the region was also missing out on thousands of dollars allocated for CSR activities by these multinational organizations.

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