Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday said Pakistan would find an opportunity to complete the proposed Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project within a year.
“I think trade restrictions will be lifted on Iran following agreement between Iran and world powers,” he said, talking to a private news channel.
Abbasi said Pakistan had intensified its efforts to materialise I-P gas pipeline project.
“It seems the situation is right to materialise proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project following signing of a deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme,” he said, adding that his meeting with Iranian counterpart was expected next month in this regard.
Commenting on the prospects of the project, prominent economist Iqbal Hamid Khan said the I-P pipeline had become more significant in the present scenario.
“The pipeline project can only be pursued if sanctions against Iran are lifted,” he added.
He said the price at which Iran was going to sell gas to Pakistan was a little higher, but the electricity generated from imported gas would help resolve shortage of electricity, besides reducing power tariff.
“A two-year period is required for completion of the project, if work on it inside Pakistan is started right now,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ministry of foreign affairs had said that Iran and Pakistan had decided to accelerate progress on the I-P gas pipeline project in a meeting between the Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Sartaj Aziz was in Tehran to participate in the 21st meeting of the Council of Ministers of the 10-member Economic Cooperation Organisation.
According to Foreign Office, both the countries had agreed that comprehensive technical commercial proposals on the I-P gas pipeline would be discussed in Tehran between Inter-State Gas System Ltd of Pakistan and the Iranian nominated company – Tadbir Energy Gaspar Iranian Co, in the first week of December.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2013.
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@Sonya: Don't involve India in everything. The only reason Pakistan was avoiding this project was massive US, EU pressure. Pakistan's government and people are always Pro-Iran and welcome any strengthening of ties between our two brotherly Muslim nations.
Will be completed in a year? How? Does it mean the construction is in progress? How many miles of pipeline is needed for this purpose? Does anyone know?
I am surprised at sudden if not a pre-mature shift of stance of Pakistan's current Government towards the pipeline - until yesterday it was a dead project and a piped dream - Or they have realized that if the west has taken a strategic turn it would have put Pakistan at odd with Iran, and Iran-India might get even closer.