Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to resume supply of jet fuel to Afghanistan on government to government contract basis to meet its indigenous commercial demands. However, the ban on supply of fuel to Nato forces will continue.
Afghanistan has also agreed to grant permission to the country’s largest public sector oil marketing company Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to set up its offices in Afghanistan to market oil products.
Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain assured Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal Minister of Finance Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for resumption of jet fuel supply. Mir Ahmad Jawid Sadat Afghan Deputy Minister Mines, and Mr. Abdul Ghafar Dawi, President Dawi Oil Ltd also accompanied Zakhilwal. On the Pakistan side Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources and other senior officers attended the meeting.
The two sides also agreed to initiate talks on transit fee over transmission of gas through Afghanistan. Pakistan is scheduled to hold negotiations with India during the current month on transit fee relating to Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
When contacted secretary Petroleum Ijaz Chaudhry said that Pakistan would allow resumption of surplus jet fuel supply to Afghanistan for its indigenous commercial demands. “However, Pakistan will continue the ban on supply of jet fuel to Nato forces,” Chaudhry added.
According to a statement, Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain said that Afghanistan is an important strategic partner and bilateral relations between the two countries need to be further strengthened. Hussain expressed Pakistan’s interest in export of Petroleum Products to Afghanistan and informed the Afghan delegation regarding intent of establishing Pakistan State Oil (PSO) offices in Afghanistan.
The issue of smuggling of petroleum products across the Pak-Afghan border was also discussed and it was agreed upon that an effective monitoring and preventative regime should be put in place.
Mir Ahmad Jawid Sadat Afghan Deputy Minister Mines said that the Government of Afghanistan is seeking technical collaboration for extraction of chromite and marble, for which Pakistani companies would be more than welcome.
Zakhilwal gave the assurance that Afghanistan would provide necessary support for TAPI pipeline project.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2012.
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