A (most favoured) friend indeed: Pakistan to import petrol from India

Published: March 24, 2012

Notification allowing import of various fuels expected next month. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

NEW DEHLI: 

Pakistan is likely to allow the import of petrol and other fuels from India, from next month. Islamabad is expected to bring out a notification next month, to this effect which will allow the import of certain items including petrol and food items, Energy Secretary Ejaz Chaudhry said on Friday. Chaudhry said he discussed importing petrol from India during talks with his Indian counterpart GC Chaturvedi.

New Delhi has agreed, in-principle, to supply fuel to Pakistan from Bhatinda, where Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd is about to commission a refinery. Also, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has a fuel depot at Bhatinda which can supply petrol and other products to Pakistan.

Pakistan, which is facing a fuel shortage, is looking to start petrol imports from India using tankers as early as next month, but wishes to sort quality and specification issues first. While initial fuel imports will be through tankers, a dedicated pipeline may be built in the future.

Chaudhry said Pakistan was also keen to import gas from India as well. State-owned GAIL’s newly-commissioned gas pipeline from India’s west coast to Bhatinda in Punjab is 45km from the Pakistan border and can be extended to Lahore.

Pakistan agreed last November to open up more trade with India by replacing a list of items its bigger neighbour can sell across the border with a shorter list of items that cannot be traded – a move regarded as key to improving commercial ties.

Pakistan has agreed in principle to grant access to imports from India under the Most Favoured Nation status, but has yet to fully implement the change.

“We have granted the Most Favoured Nation status to India. Our cabinet has approved it,” Chaudhry told reporters in the Indian capital.

“Our commerce ministry is in the final stages of documentation of a notification to bring out certain items from the negative list, including petrol,” he said. “The notification should be out in 14 to 15 days.”

Pakistan currently bans imports of Indian gasoline. It allowed diesel imports from India in 2009, but no Indian supplies were sent in the face of preferential prices offered by Pakistan’s allies such as Kuwait.

India’s oil minister S Jaipal Reddy had said in January that the country was examining a proposal to export petroleum products and gasoline to neighbouring Pakistan.

Chaudhry said Pakistan was aiming to build its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, which it hopes to commission in the second-half of the next year.

Four-to-five companies, including global oil major Royal Dutch Shell and South Korea’s Daewoo, have shown interest in supplying LNG to Pakistan under a tender seeking 500 million cubic feet a day gas, he said.

The government plans to award the tender in one month, Chaudhry said.

Chaudhry also discussed the transit fee to be paid for the proposed Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India TAPI gas pipeline.  Officials said India has to pay a transit fee to Pakistan and Afghanistan for allowing passage of gas that it wants to buy from Turkmenistan. Similarly, Pakistan has to pay a transit fee to Afghanistan.

“We have agreed to a uniform fee. Pakistan has agreed that it will accept the same fee that India agrees to pay Afghanistan,” an Indian official said. Turkmenistan has already finalised a gas sale purchase agreement with all the participating countries for the $7.6 billion gas pipeline project, which will supply 3.2 billion cubic feet of gas daily.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • indian
    Mar 24, 2012 - 9:27AM

    business good.
    terrorism bad.

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  • Whats in the name.
    Mar 24, 2012 - 12:55PM

    I cant help but wonder what the likes of Mr Munnawar Hussain, Mr Hafeez Said have to say about this development. Petrol and Diesel like Air, Water are essential ingredients to sustain life.
    I expect/demand an answer of them.
    Rgds
    P

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  • Mar 24, 2012 - 1:04PM

    Business with lack of trust?Recommend

  • Nasir
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:11PM

    The future economic prosperity of pakistan lays in trade with India – good to hear about something positive

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  • IFTIKHAR-UR-REHMAN
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:23PM

    Importing petrol from India will definitely cost less but the question is will the Govt. of Pakistan sell it at a lower price to the Petrol Stations and the end customers????

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  • Sachal Sarmast
    Mar 24, 2012 - 2:41PM

    Tap all resources of energy and for development of infrastructure. But do not leave your own gas resources untapped and do not postpone further auction of 3G etc for kickbacks, please. If we are economically strong, we will be helping our own people to live a human life on the one hand and on the other hand, will be in a (better) position to take a position on international political issues particularly with India, USA and others.

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  • Mar 24, 2012 - 3:12PM

    We should make friendship with both all weather friend & all petrol friend to survive.

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  • Zaid
    Mar 24, 2012 - 3:12PM

    A conspiracy by RAW and CIA.

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  • MarkH
    Mar 24, 2012 - 3:21PM

    Why do I get the feeling this is going to get the same reaction/threats as reopening NATO supply routes from groups like DPC.

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  • Rabzon
    Mar 24, 2012 - 3:55PM

    I believe credit should be given where credit is due, although overall the PPP government has been a disappointment so far, they have failed miserably to tackle many important (war on terror, economy, Baluchistan and most importantly the Civil-Military balance of power) issues, but there are few good things that this government has done and one of them is rapidly improving relations with India.

    I believe strong economic relations are a key for developing a long-lasting friendly relation between our countries.

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  • Parvez
    Mar 24, 2012 - 3:56PM

    A step in the right direction.

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Mar 24, 2012 - 5:22PM

    World has changed drastically during last 11 years. India has developed massive refining capacity and supplies petroleum products even to Iran and many European countries. India is the only country with which Pakistan can have the most efficient and economic trade. We can trade almost in everything which common man requires for day to day living. Our needs are very similar. However, the bottom line is peaceful relations. Have your differences, but express them like normal people and not by sending terrorists. Instead of showing the shoe soles to each other at Wagah border, let us have a duty free malls where shoppers from both sides can visit and have fun. I am sure both governments can work out a method to operate these malls in a way that shoppers don’t require passports and VISA.

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  • Roflcopter
    Mar 24, 2012 - 5:32PM

    “A (most favoured) friend indeed”….surely you jest!

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  • jahandad
    Mar 24, 2012 - 5:40PM

    what can be said , i donot have any complaints from this government and ppp leaders , as they are behaving being more as indians rather than pakistanis , bcz first they kept silence on the issue of water stopage by indians , then kept silence on indian atrocities in kashmir, and then finally gave them finally the most favourate nation title ,.what else the ey want , but they should know it that the hour is closing on them day by day , and they will inshaallah be in doomsday fire very soon

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  • Cynical
    Mar 24, 2012 - 5:46PM

    Welcome move.These to neighbours should do more business than at present.

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  • jahandad
    Mar 24, 2012 - 5:53PM

    a most favored nation India ,and tis India is denying you drinking water, by stopping water flow to Pakistan,,,

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  • Mar 24, 2012 - 6:10PM

    Relax and take a chill pill. Did you not learn. ‘A friend in need is a friend in deed’At least think about your countrymen. Their interests are more important than your ego. People like you are a road block in the country’s wellbeing, leave alone progress. I want to go on, but I think ‘akalmand ko ishaara kaafi hai’!.

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  • American-owned "liberal" newspapers with an agenda
    Mar 24, 2012 - 6:18PM

    What’s with the colourful headline?……ET do your work, which is journalism, not tabloid commentary.

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  • Abdul Qayyum Bhatti
    Mar 24, 2012 - 6:40PM

    Pakistan should consider importing Iranian Petroleum Products instead. These days Iranian Petroleum Products are being smuggled to Baluchistan. Pakistan Government can generate a lot of revenue by regularizing these imports instead Indian Products.

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  • Sanjay, Mumbai
    Mar 24, 2012 - 8:00PM

    Energy is key for development of any nation..If Indian petroleum products are found to be competitive in Pakistan, its good for Pakistan’s economy. But on long term basis, both countries will have to work out an arrangement for exchange/ partnership in energy..trade in electricity, petroleum products etc. North West of India will surely benefit by this arrangement. Lets hope for the best.

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  • Babloo
    Mar 24, 2012 - 8:25PM

    India should make sure its paid first. Please no credit, just business.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Mar 24, 2012 - 8:33PM

    To all my Pakistani friends who think that this will one way traffic let me tell you that there is already a Made in Pakistan trade fare on in Chandigarh i have been there and i found the atmosphere very friendly pl check these links http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Trading-love-from-across-the-border/articleshow/12362824.cms http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Navaratra-special-at-Pak-stalls/articleshow/12388120.cms

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  • Hadi Ansari
    Mar 24, 2012 - 8:52PM

    A step in right direction.Open the trade and travel for all goods and people.Surely Pakistani industrialist will oppose tooth and nail to protect their selfish interest.

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  • Aria_Bull
    Mar 24, 2012 - 9:15PM

    I am really surprised…Why not pakistan is requesting there all weather friend China to send petrol to Pakistan???? Why they want to take the Petrol from “Hindu India”. Anyway never mind..This agree ment will not work out because definitely some protest will be there in Pakistan to stop this trade….Good Luck..Pak…waiting for this action from your Hafeez Sayeed kind of people…

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  • Anjaan
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:15PM

    Pakistan has tried all it possibly could against India, but after six decades it has nothing to show for except failure after failure. It seems to have finally realized that the Kashmir dream will always remain a dream.

    There is a growing realization that since dictating terms for peace is no longer an option, doing business with a growing power in India makes sense, and why not, when the entire generation of Pakistanis have no qualms about watching Indian cinema and television, there is a limit to hypocrisy after all ……. !Recommend

  • jahandad
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:47PM

    indians are after isi and Hafiz saeed , what about the hard core terrorists of bjp , bhajrangdil and many other dancing extremists Hindus in Bombay, Gujarat and up narender motees who are behind the killings in Baluchistan and Karachi, and who are active in Afghanistan against Pakistan,. remember Indians can never be friends they were and they are and they will remain thirsty for our blood sucking,, so be cautious while even talking to this evil ,, let them dance in their own ganga , and let them stop barking against Pakistan in their extremist Hindu ideology oriented media. we can care for our own self , Kashmir never belonged to them we should retake it either by hook or by crook, and then only we be able to hold a check on this monster,,,,,,,,,,you can never ever , never ever,,,,,and again never ever benefit from trading with Hindu India ,,,,,,,,its for sure they benefit from us in trade in talk and every thing ,,,, so be realistic let these cow worshipers dance and sing with their cow,,,,,,,,,, please no offend is in my mind ,, i am expressing what is fact since hundreds of years ,,,,study history,,,Indians Hindus are worst than pagans in ideology,,,

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  • Altaf Hussain, Mumbai
    Mar 24, 2012 - 10:55PM

    Would be interested to know the export pricing structure. Since Indian consumers get petrol and kerosine at a bare minimal subsidy, it would be a rather tricky situation if Pakistan decides to subsidise heavily and sell these essential items at a price much cheaper than what is paid by Indian consumers. That could lead to these comodities being smuggled back to India.

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  • bharat
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:11AM

    its quite possible that Pakistan has a lot of crude oil reserves in areas like Baluchistan ,Sindh

    Its just that stability is required for companies to operate there and explore

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  • true_blue_pakistani
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:56AM

    Send Kassab to Pakistan before sending Petrol. This is our condition.
    Hafiz Saeed want Kassab back.

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  • Peace lover
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:09AM

    @jahandad – You are a great ASSET to Pakistan.

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 2:22AM

    How is that a good deal for India? India doesnt produce crude, nor does it have over-capacity of refining. So India will simply import refined oil, be the middle-man and sell it to Pakistan, of course for a commission. Ofcourse, nothing wrong with that. Question is why is Pakistan not importing Petrol directly? And to understand that, you gotta check the State Bank of Pakistan’s balance sheet of its M2 money reserves with negative Net foreign Assets (NFA). Problem is Pakistan is a huge blackhole of bad sovereign debt. Pakistan knows it will not be able to purchase oil from the International market where oil is sold for DOLLARS. Pakistan doesnt have any. To overcome this, Pakistan will start buying Oil from India using either its debased currency or simply default on the credits issued by Indian Banks.

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  • Yash
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:24AM

    @jahandad:

    “we can care for our own self , Kashmir never belonged to them we should retake it either by hook or by crook, “

    unfortunately pakistan has not succeeded in either of them…anyway…dont derail the discussion

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  • Amazed
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:20AM

    Bizarre news. Since when did India become rich in oil and petroleum?????Whats wrong with these decision makers . . .common sense out the door!!

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  • Singh
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:23AM

    Hey ET where is my comment. It was better than jahandad.

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  • Think Again
    Mar 25, 2012 - 4:02AM

    Now India is Like Our Big Brother. So the Million dollar question is, Do we really need Army, Multiple Security Agencies, and 60% Plus Nation Defence Budget?. We Can just sign some new Defence Contracts with our Big Brother India and save Money.
    India + Pakistan = BFF
    lol

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  • Marium Lodhi
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:02AM

    SIgh, I was eagerly waiting for this article to divulge into what the PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT aims to do ABOUT SELF SUFFICIENCY? Have you not learnt from Independent power plants (IPPs) yet? What if India decides to close trade on a whim, DO YOU HAVE A PLAN B, LIKE EXTRACTION IN BALOCHISTAN????

    The only thing this government is good at is to shirk responsibility for development by resorting to temporary hassle free solutions to keep their voters at bay e.g HEC decentralization. Pray tell what exactly is the function of the PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT ?

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  • Vin
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:40AM

    Welcome development….but serious questions remain…..
    Indian villages are energy starved as is, most villages with 70% of Indian population hardly get 6hrs of electricity a day…have no gas pipelines are clean drinking water and sanitation sewer pipleines ….India as a whole is energy deficient and imports 60% of its fuel needs…..why would it then export energy???

    Either India has an ulterior motive or they are plain simple RetardO’Brien

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:17AM

    @Think Again: Let us do the small and easy things correctly and with time the bigger issues will also get sorted out.

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  • Altaf Hussain, Mumbai
    Mar 25, 2012 - 11:34AM

    @truebluepakistani:
    “Send Kassab to Pakistan before sending Petrol. This is our condition.”
    Well, looks like you haven’t heard the adage: ‘Beggars can’t be choosers’.

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  • Oil philosophy!
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:06PM

    @jahandad:

    better to have indian petrol than have power cuts and no fuel. Think of the poor who will benefit. Unfortunately the better off pakistanis have no sympathy for their poor brothers.
    idelogy and hate never helped the poor and makes them go hungry.
    at least India is offering. the muslim brotherhood of oil owners is doing no such thing, nor is evergreen all weather friend China.
    Instaed of thanking a goog natured neighbour, only silly hate seems to come thru the bloggers.Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Mar 25, 2012 - 4:20PM

    @Abdul Qayyum Bhatti: Iran is surplus in crude oil and short on refining capacity hence short of petrol. India is short in crude oil but has excess refining capacity infact it exports 25% of the diesel/petrol refined in the country.India exports petrol to Iran check this http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/indias-reliance-halts-petrol-exports-to-iran . So you can not import petrol from Iran as they import for there own needs.Petrol is petrol buy it from whichever pump is close to you.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Mar 25, 2012 - 4:30PM

    @Asif: India does have excess crude oil refining capacity in fact it exports 25%of the crude refined in the country

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  • Tippu
    Mar 25, 2012 - 10:14PM

    Whats wrong with this picture?? Highly questionable!!!!

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  • jahandad
    Mar 26, 2012 - 3:56AM

    @dr.priyanka and all other @dreamy indians, living in bollywood dreamy world,, let me remind you some facts ,,,,average pakistani is even today much better financially than 800millions indian living below poverty lines and mojority in slums,700millions indians defecate in open air in this 2012,modern india, and electricity oh my god more than 600millions indians without electicity,*
    the remaining 100 to 200 million middle class is a blessing from gcc arabs ksa, uae, qatar, kuwait, oman who are feeding 100 to 2oo million indians as gift scheme to BJP ,india is importing oil from gulf countries, and is purely dependent on them for its energy requirments, so how can a begger offer something to someone ,what it has gained its self in begging ,,feed you 400million malnaurised children first, treat tuberculosis ,whats deblitating more than 500million indiand,,70 to 90 persent indian drinking water is sewerage mixed, and that means mixed with human wastes,,,,,,,india has remained the only country in the world where human wastes are still picked by hands by womens in calcutta,,, i think this is enough for dr. priyanka and other philospher to open their eyes,,, first help your self,,,,

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Mar 26, 2012 - 9:24AM

    @jahandad: So much hate

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  • Oil philosophy!
    Mar 26, 2012 - 9:36AM

    @jahandad:
    Sorry, but as happens with all pakistanis, they suffer from delusions, including touting figures with no basis. Not one of your figures is correct, nor are the facts. India is certainly thiord world, and so is China. fact is that India is a usd2 trillion economy, and pakistan is a usd 175 million economy. India’s per capita GDP is usd 1500, and Pakistans is USD 1000. So which country’s citizens are better off?
    Pakistanis are such a divided society that they consider their poor as scums of the earth. Indians are a far more inclusive society. We have all started poor in 1947, progress since then has been made. Their is still huge amounts to do.
    If Pakistan doesnt want petrol, no one is forcing you to buy. their is no hurt pride in bargaining for the best deal on international offer. Bigotry and hate as a corner stone of business decisions will lead you nowhere.
    Pakistani bloggers feel a loss of pride that big brother India has more to offer. well, such is life!

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  • Khairu
    Mar 26, 2012 - 10:29AM

    Shameful administration . . . taking irresponsible incompetent short cuts. Pakistan has a lot to offer and their own resources need to be exploited and security forces and military needs to gaurd them. Get to work! India is not your role model!

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  • Altaf Hussain, Mumbai
    Mar 26, 2012 - 12:34PM

    @jahandad:
    You seem to be sick in the mind and a disgrace to Muslims. India is not giving petrol to Pakistan for free, but for a commission/profit. Pakistani buying authorities are not fools to buy it from India if they get it cheaper from Arabic oil producers or their so-called ‘all weather friend’. This is a commercial deal and where does all this trash of yours come from? You seriously need to cleanse your thought process. This all-consuming hate for anything Indian is one reason for Pakistan going downhill though both countries started of on equal footing in 1947.

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  • unbeliever
    Mar 26, 2012 - 12:45PM

    @jahandad:
    SO MUCH OF TRUTH AND fact clubbed together, i’m feeling dizzy.

    DEFECATION: big problem indeed, lets see some detail about your country

    http://www.irinnews.org/Report/77155/PAKISTAN-Open-defecation-free-communities-one-village-at-a-time

    even by un statistics poverty in india stands at 40%: that comes out 480 million, why are you so ready to push some 320 million indians into poverty.

    electricity situation is indeed bad… but certainly far better than your country.

    and please cut that crap about arabs, this was the most outright lie in your statement, india has business and trade relation with them, but somehow you who rely on aid from them can never understand what trade means. what if india is dependent on them, aren’t they dependent on india for getting dollars? come on, what has gotten into you guys, are all of u just military mans who just happen to love shooting everything or get shot…give businessmans in your country a chance they ceratinly be far more better than you in running the establishment

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  • Reasonable
    Mar 26, 2012 - 1:41PM

    @ vin and Amazed..

    India is deficient in energy is right but energy includes petrol, diesel, electricity etc. India is not deficient in petrol or diesel but it is deficient in electricity. India has over capacity of crude oil refining. hence export of refined petrol and diesel. India has been exporting petrol and diesel from about five or more years, though most of the crude is imported it is adding value to crude and exporting. so no need to get amazed just need to know how to use google.

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  • IFTIKHAR-UR-REHMAN
    Mar 27, 2012 - 11:42AM

    @Marium Lodhi:
    Pakistan Govt. has the mandate to destroy Pakistan from within and they are doing a very good job.

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  • Asif Ali
    Apr 14, 2012 - 11:53AM

    Is India producing Oil? Is India producing gas? Has India got such deposits?
    Moreover, is the oil from Saudi Arabia/Kuwait etc (the major producers) costing more and India (which is importing oil) could supply onwards to Pakistan at better rates?
    I fail to understand the logic.
    The actual problem with shortage of fuel in Pakistan, that in turn creates power shortage is the “finance” issue. Govt of Pakistan owes billions to PSO and Gulf oil companies. That is the reason they cant get required quantity of oil – because PSO/Gulf companies want previous money GOP owes.
    Now is the GOP looking for India, as a 2nd source to build another liability, another debt?
    Shame on this govt who is looting public, filling their own pockets and making whole Pakistan a state of beggers.

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  • Asif Ali
    Apr 14, 2012 - 12:24PM

    @jagjit sidhoo:
    Yes, your comments make sense.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Apr 15, 2012 - 8:01AM

    @Asif Ali: Trade my friend is the answer just make sure it is in your favor.

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