Pakistan determined to complete Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline soon

Pakistan is in dire need of energy and determined to complete its part of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, Pakistani Oil Minister Shahed Khaqan Abbassi said here Monday. « We have recently reached agreement with the China National Petroleum (CNPC) for partnership in implementing 700 kilometer pipeline from the Gwadar Port, 70 kilometers from the Iranian border to Nawab Shah and the CNPC officials are arriving in Pakistan for pilot study of the infrastructure project on Tuesday, » said the Pakistani minister in a meeting with Iranian visiting Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia. He said that the Chinese firm is scheduled to begin working on the project some three months from now, expressing hope that the Pakistani construction firms, too, will simultaneously pursue their work on the national project. He also welcomed Tayyebnia’s proposal for increased electricity exports to Pakistan to 1,000 megawatts, which he said will be a very noticeable assistance for Islamabad. Shahed Khaqan Abbassi also welcomed the Iranian economy minister’s proposal for exports of petrochemical products, chemical fertilizers and boosting comprehensive economic cooperation. Iran wants to export its natural gas to Pakistan, India and China through the peace pipeline. Iran has already built its 900-kilometer share of the pipeline on its own soil and is waiting for the 700-kilometer Pakistani side of the pipeline to be built. Iran and Pakistan signed an agreement over the construction of a gas pipeline in 1995. Later, Iran made a proposal to extend the pipeline from Pakistan into India. In February 1999, an accord between Iran and India was signed. But due to the US pressure, India withdrew from the project in 2009, and Islamabad has also delayed accomplishing the project so far.