Iran, Pakistan to talk finishing IP gas pipeline

A senior Pakistani energy official says Islamabad and Tehran are set to map out a strategy to implement the under-construction multi-billion-dollar pipeline projected to carry natural gas from Iran to its eastern neighbor.

The unnamed official from Pakistan’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told The News daily on Thursday that the two sides will exchange views on finishing the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline in Tehran on December 9.

Pakistan is expected to raise extension of the original deadline of the project, and a downward revision in gas prices during the forthcoming negotiations.

“We want revision of implementation schedule,” the official said.

Iran and Pakistan have agreed to accelerate negotiations on the IP gas pipeline. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on November 26.

The accord aims at formulating a roadmap and a more realistic time schedule for the implementation of the energy project.

The United States has long been threatening Pakistan with economic sanctions if Islamabad goes ahead with the pipeline project.

However, the government of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made it clear that addressing the country’s longstanding energy problems will be its top priority, and it has no plans to reverse the decision on the completion of IP pipeline.

Iran has already built 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its own soil and is waiting for the 700-kilometer Pakistani side of the pipeline to be constructed.

The IP pipeline is designed to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages.

By Press TV


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