Gas pipeline bolsters Iran-Pakistan ties

SHANA — Iran’s ambassador to Islamabad said the gas pipeline expected to transfer natural gas from Iran to neighboring Pakistan could bolster ties between the two neighbors.

Speaking to Shana, Mehdi Honardoust, referred to economic and security aspects of the project, saying that the gasline is not comparable with similar projects in the region.

“The IP pipeline could be influential in strengthening economic and welfare status of Pakistani people as a neighboring and Muslim nation,” the official said.

The importance of strengthening, expanding and accelerating the current status of bilateral trade between Tehran and Islamabad is considered by both countries as a serious belief, and the political will of the authorities in Iran and Pakistan is the basis for realizing this issue, he added.

Honardoust added: “One of the major projects between Iran and Pakistan, that was agreed by the two countries years ago, and was to be implemented by 2014, is the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, which, unfortunately, has not been operational so far and is awaiting the action of Pakistani friends to fulfill their obligations.”

“The implementation of this project strengthens reliability and trust between the two countries. Transmission of natural gas through the IP pipeline, in addition to providing cheap and sustainable energy, can transform the Pakistani economy, but in any case, there are deterrent factors as well that need to be addressed.”

Besides the pipeline, Pakistan can supply its thirst for energy from other sources like LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports, but IP pipeline is the best choice for the country, the envoy added.

The Iran section of the pipeline, stretching 900 kilometers, has been built with $2.5 billion investment, and required another $1 billion for completion. The second section of the pipeline in Pakistan is 780 kilometers long which has not yet been built.