Publishe Date: 9:33 PM - 11/15/2013 | Print

FM Spokesman: Pakistan Committed to Construct IP Gas Pipeline

Economy - Pakistani Foreign Ministry Spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry once again underlined that Islamabad is resolved to pursue completion of the multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline which is due to take Iran’s rich gas reserves to his energy hungry nation.

“We have clarified our position many times that given the acute energy requirements of Pakistan, the government remains committed to all options for addressing our energy needs, including the IP (Iran-Pakistan) pipeline project,” said the Pakistani official, adding that the US sanctions do not apply on this project and that his government has conveyed this message to the US government.

Earlier in October, Pakistani Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi asked Iran to finance $2bln in the construction of Pakistan’s side of the IP gas pipeline project.

The Pakistani petroleum minister said preparatory work was complete, but they had asked Iran to provide $2bln for the construction work.

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

Iran and Pakistan officially inaugurated the construction phase of a gas pipeline project in March which is due to take Iran's rich gas reserves to the energy-hungry South Asian nation.

The project kicked off in a ceremony attended by former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his former Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari at the two countries' shared border region in Iran's Southeastern city of Chabahar.

The 2700-kilometer long pipeline was to supply gas for Pakistan and India which are suffering a lack of energy sources, but India has evaded talks. In 2011, Iran and Pakistan declared they would finalize the agreement bilaterally if India continued to be absent in the meeting.

Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Iran's Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the South and stretch over 1,100 km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Baluchistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to the project.

 

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