“The previous government had signed an agreement with Iran on the gas pipeline and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led government needed to proceed with it,” the Pakistani prime minister told the US newspaper Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
“There is an acute shortage of gas in Pakistan, so we have to import gas from somewhere,” Sharif added.
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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