Pakistan wants Iran to finance its side of gas pipeline: Petroleum Minister

By AFP
Published: October 8, 2013
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Abbasi told AFP on Tuesday that the preparatory work was complete, but they had asked Iran to provide $2 billion for the construction work. PHOTO: FILE

Abbasi told AFP on Tuesday that the preparatory work was complete, but they had asked Iran to provide $2 billion for the construction work. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has asked Iran for $2 billion in financing to build its side of a controversial gas pipeline that has drawn threats of US sanctions, petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday.

The Iranian side of the $7.5-billion project is almost complete, but Pakistan has run into repeated problems paying for the 780 kilometre (485 mile) section to be built on its side of the border.

Abbasi told AFP on Tuesday that the preparatory work was complete, but they had asked Iran to provide $2 billion for the construction work.

“All these issues will be discussed in a meeting which we have requested, but so far there is no reply from the Iranian side,” Abbasi said.

“They were busy in cabinet formation and I hope that this meeting will take place within this month.”

It is the latest setback to hit the long-delayed section of the pipeline that would link the two neighbours and help ease Pakistan’s chronic gas shortages.

US officials have warned that the project would risk triggering sanctions aimed at Iran.

But Abbasi denied coming under pressure from Washington since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power in the May 11 general elections.

“So far, Americans have not talked about this pipeline with us at any level,” he said.

Asked if Pakistan was hoping to complete the project before the December 2014 deadline, Abbasi replied, “anything is possible, if we have the resources.”

“It depends on the financing and availability of the machinery,” he added.

Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world but has been strangled by a Western embargo that has seen its crude exports halved in the past year.

It currently produces around 600 million cubic metres of gas per day, almost all of which is consumed domestically due to lack of exports.

Its only foreign client is Turkey, which buys about 30 million cubic metres of gas per day.

The Karachi stock exchange took fright when the countries’ then-presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the much-delayed section of pipeline in March.

Spooked by fears of US sanctions, the main index had slumped almost 2.5 per cent.

Abbasi said that the government had sought bids from Pakistani and Iranian companies for pricing of the construction cost of the pipeline.

Pakistan’s gas shortage reaches crisis levels during the winter, when all compressed natural gas (CNG) stations (which fuel most vehicles in urban centres) in Punjab province will be shut down from November to January.

Many Pakistanis have converted their cars to run on CNG, depending on it as a cheaper alternative to staid fuels like petrol and diesel.

“Our first priority are domestic consumers during the winters, so there will be no gas for motor transport in Punjab,” Abbasi said.

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Reader Comments (35)

  • objective observer
    Oct 8, 2013 - 8:22PM

    How are you going to pay for the gas if you can’t afford the pipe?

    Recommend

  • Sivaramakrishna B
    Oct 8, 2013 - 8:28PM

    Next there will be a news item stating that Pakistan has asked Iran for payment for consuming Iranian gas being transported by the pipeline!

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  • Mohammed Yusuf
    Oct 8, 2013 - 8:33PM

    You guys want everything for free – free gas and pipeline from Iran; free oil from Saudi Arabia; free military hardware and dollars from the US; free zakat from Organisation of Islamic Countries; free international relief material for earthquake and floods; free medicines and polio drops; free cement and construction material from China to build Gwadar…
    C’mon there should be an end to all freebies. When will Pakistan learn to stand on its own two feet, instead on standing on aid/loan crutches and proclaming to the world, especially to India, that “look we are standing tall and can see you eye to eye”.

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  • Baji Jee
    Oct 8, 2013 - 8:45PM

    Lame excuse – we all know Saudi Arabia is behind this wicked game.

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  • Latif
    Oct 8, 2013 - 8:55PM

    To the incoming army of Indian trolls, Pakistan is facing chronic gas shortages and we will take all necessary steps in the interests of our population, and that includes requesting financing from our Iranian friends. Indians should mind their own business and focus on building toilets in their country.

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  • Liberal
    Oct 8, 2013 - 9:06PM

    Wow, so Slow but steady they(Mian and co) are going to unveil their cards. Isn’t it a soft denial to the committed pipeline?
    Better to think for Pakistan and its poor masses PML-N rather for interests of someone else.

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  • indian
    Oct 8, 2013 - 9:20PM

    why should iran fund pakistani side of pipeline.
    when i see pakistan’s attitude i relate to a beggar who demands more money as if it is his right to get money from the alms giver.

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  • Noor Muhammad
    Oct 8, 2013 - 9:21PM

    Dear Pakastani Fellows,
    Sheer bunoo sheer. It’s just beginning. Mr Dar is the most incompetent finance minister, perhaps only more competent than PM.
    Good Luck

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  • TUNG
    Oct 8, 2013 - 9:27PM

    @Mohammed Yusuf: actually its iran who needs us than we need them!they want us to buy their gas desperately.

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  • raj
    Oct 8, 2013 - 9:27PM

    beggar pakistan :) …. pakistan zindabhaag:D

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  • Latif
    Oct 8, 2013 - 9:31PM

    To the incoming army of trolls from Bharat, Pakistan is facing a chronic gas shortage and will take all necessary steps in its interests, including taking financing from our Iranian friends if that is necessary. Indians should focus on their own issues like building more toilets.

    @ET pls publish, nothing offensive

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  • bangash
    Oct 8, 2013 - 9:49PM

    Pakistan…nuclear armed beggar state.

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  • Someone
    Oct 8, 2013 - 9:56PM

    @raj: Funny you should say that, considering millions of Indians live in impoverished conditions and have probably never even heard of the word ‘gas’ (apart from the one in toilets… oh wait :p). Even Afghanistan looks like a developed country compared to you.

    @ET please let it through

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  • Bharti logic
    Oct 8, 2013 - 10:05PM

    What is first word that comes to mind when hearing word ‘India’? toilet :p

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  • Ali
    Oct 8, 2013 - 10:25PM

    Pakistani’s are full of gas, why do they want more gas in the first place.?

    moderators:Allow pls.Recommend

  • raj
    Oct 8, 2013 - 10:39PM

    @Someone: those millions of indians living in india stil have access to subsidised gas as per the govt norms whereas in beggar pak even those who posses cars less than 0.1% stand in long queues for CNG…. indeed beggars …..nuclear beggars with no electricty just
    polio! polio! polio! and booooooom

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  • raj
    Oct 8, 2013 - 10:40PM

    @Bharti logic: to u maybe…. but to the world the first thing that comes in mind when u hear pakistan is burqa and boom…. cheers!! :D 35% of pakis defecate in open…mind u…. google it …lol :D

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  • raj
    Oct 8, 2013 - 10:43PM

    @Someone: dude indian rural literacy more than entire pak what r u smoking ?? LOL….. u madrassah guys from a failed state are a curse to world…. all u export is bomb ,drugs and extremism…. dats the reason y world hates and u r accepted by so many countries…
    i love it the way ur citizens beg for indian visa and the way ur actors were thrown out….:D

    Recommend

  • Mohammed Yusuf
    Oct 8, 2013 - 10:46PM

    @Someone:
    @ Bharat loic: I know that you level of education has been that of the effluent of a toilet. India has at least admitted that toilets for the poor is a major issue and the government is working on providing toilets to all. Heard of the govenment’s scheme of Sulabh Sanchalalaya?

    As far as Pakistan is concerned you don’t even want to admit that the problem of toilets exist in your country. Just to refresh how severe the problem is in your country, please read this attached article in full. It was published here by Express Tribune not so long ago.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/424180/toilet-facilities–a-luxury-for-most-pakistanis/

    Recommend

  • raj father
    Oct 8, 2013 - 11:23PM

    @raj: You should be attending school and learning proper English, sentence structure and grammar instead of wasting time here and showing your dim intellectual level. Millions of people living in slums have no electricity in India, let alone gas.

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  • Kushal
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:00AM

    @raj father:
    A citizen of 10th most failed nation is advising someone to learn english. lol. Millions may live in slums but they get electricity and kerosene and gas @ subsidized rates.

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  • Kushal
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:01AM

    @raj father:
    A citizen of 10th most failed nation is advising someone to learn english. lol. Millions may live in slums but they get electricity and kerosene and gas @ subsidized rates.

    ET: Pls let it thru.

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  • Sem
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:22AM

    @Latif:
    Actually they want to sell the gas to India as they well know that Pakistan cannot afford it.

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  • Ajukis Rambler
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:24AM

    Are there toilets provided to Pakistani people or they (males and females) just go on lands or farms in open wherever find place to get them relieved with whatever available to clean either stone or [email protected]:

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  • Sem
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:28AM
  • raj
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:31AM

    @raj father: hahaha too bad my father doesn’t google….. more than 90% of slum household have electricty …. again google it ….. and of course gas…. the problem is rural india… many villages especially in remote parts of central,east india are not connected by the main grid…off grid techniques are being adapted too
    P.S my english is fine…. and u better not advice me coz u come from a nation which has max children out of school… now shoo :)

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  • S. Israr Ali
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:31AM

    It is pity. For heaven’s sake finish all this it is now enough, you have already put the people of Pakistan into great sufferings and hardships with loots and plunder by said to be the democratic governments, by the people, for the people and of the people. Is it not the same PMLN government which always boasted itself not to take dictation from anyone and having broken the bowel of aid and charity (bowel). Self respect and dignity appears to be extinct from these people.

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  • SM
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:36AM

    @indian:
    Shut your face, Indian.

    That said, it is between us Muslim brothers… we know our faults but its none of your business.

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  • Sabir Khan
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:37AM

    Pakistan will never be able to pay for the line on its own side and even for Gas.

    Iran should forget the Project and Promises by Cheater Zardari. No one in Pakistan will give regards to his signed contract.
    At this moment Iran will loose only 7.5 b $ used to build Irani side of pipeline. But if Iran proceed further the losses will be more.
    Even if the Line is built by Irani Money in Pakistan side also then the US agents in Baluchistan like LEJ/SSP/TTP etc. will Destroy the line with simple cheap RPGs.

    Recommend

  • raj
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:38AM

    @raj father: go google it ….. do not blabber ur madrassah info…. slum population in india represents 17% of total urban population with more than 90% people havving electricity whereas in pakistan 40% urban pop lives in slum with 20 hour loadshedding and polio and so many many kids…disgusting :)

    Recommend

  • B
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:49AM

    @Mohammed Yusuf:
    I read the link provided by you and was shocked I had missed it. So Pakistan is also having the same toilet problem. Chances are 100% they will deny it and say that it is a conspiracy to defame Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Zen.One
    Oct 9, 2013 - 1:10AM

    @Someone:
    @raj father:
    There is more to India than just lack of toilets, there are a whole lot of things which are even worst, like female infanticides, Slums, Caste Creed and gender bias. Here is something for your interest. Few would realize that 2.8million girls in India have gone missing in the last 20 years. More than 12 million female abortions in the last 30 years. The statistics are just unbelievable startling and mind-boggling, says so much about discrimination in India based on caste, creed and now gender.

    The links below makes interesting readings.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/namrata-poddar/female-infanticide-indias-unspoken-evilb2740032.html
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-loses-3-million-girls-in-infanticide/article3981575.ece

    Recommend

  • Asad Khan
    Oct 9, 2013 - 12:11PM

    Hydrocarbons (Oil / gas) has unique nature in this today’s industrialized world. Like a coin, one side is Economic and one side is Geopolitics.

    Pakistan needs Gas. No doubt. But Pak didn’t have 2Billion for disposal. If it had, even then it can’t use at direct investment cuz there are sanctions involved. Further, US & Europe are among the big trading partners of Pak. (It is not Iranian issue that who is Pak’s trading partner)

    Now, Pak & Iran should sit down together, discuss a barter of 2Billion and then keep it rolling. Even then Pak will get a flak in US for that.

    Now, I am very critical to Pak policies but I am not blind n dumb not to understand who is the bully here & who is trying every trick to stop two neighboring countries to trade freely.

    India, sorry, you opted out on your own choice when you got the nuclear deal from US. You have no moral to critique Pak on IP issue. Yes, you can enjoy the fun seeing Pak grilling in geopolitics. Are you not????

    regards,

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Oct 15, 2013 - 11:02PM

    ETBLOGS1987

    ET Mods – please allow fact based rsponse to Zen.One

    @Zen.One: First of all your post has nothing whatsoever to do with the news item. India has no part to play in Pakistan’s inability to finance the IP pipeline. Having said that I will address the points that you made.

    India has a problem with toilets. The problem is being discussed at the highest political level. Pakistan too has a problem but no one is talking about it. http://tribune.com.pk/story/424180/toilet-facilities–a-luxury-for-most-pakistanis/Which would you prefer.

    Yes India does sadly have problems related to female infanticide. There are laws against this. Government tracks metrics during the census in 2001 and 2011. Simultaneously there are plans to improve the economic, social and political standing of women to reduce son preference which is a root cause. If you think female infanticide does not happen in Pakistan you are wrong. http://tribune.com.pk/story/424180/toilet-facilities–a-luxury-for-most-pakistanis However there is hardly any discussion of this problem. Again what would you prefer? BEsides there are many metrics important to women where India’s performance is much better than Pakistan i.e. female literacy rate, gender gap in literacy between men and women, maternal mortality rate, percentage of deliveries completed by skilled birth attendants, percentage of women in the workforce and so on.

    In India due to the history of discrimination on caste basis prior to independence, the Indian constitution outlaws adverse discrimination against the lower castes. To the contrary, there is a significant degree of affirmative action in education and government jobs to address historic wrongs. With laws against discrimination, significant political voice and increasing education among what were once considered lower castes, the social mindset is also changing. In Pakistan on the other hand, discrimination against nonMuslims is baked in the constitution and getting worse by the day. Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Ahmadis and lately Shias are witness to horrendous oppression.

    Recommend

  • Ghani Kandahari
    Oct 16, 2013 - 8:36AM

    Who is going to pay for the gas my pakistani brothers! lol

    Recommend

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