Middle Course Sought for Iran-Pakistan Gas Project

From The News International

By Saad ur Rehman Khan

Pak-Iran gas pipeline project – which would essentially change the face of the ongoing energy crisis in Pakistan for the foreseeable future – seems to be ending in despair. Initially, the project too included India. However, India dropped out along the way since the negotiations commenced nearly two decades ago. Now, there are again reports doing round in media, reporting Indian Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid, that India might renter negotiations over the IP gas pipeline project.

In March 2010, Pakistan and Iran signed an agreement over the construction of the gas pipeline project. The ambitious $7.6 billion project required the parties to construct a 2,100 kilometres of pipeline for the supply of natural gas to Pakistan.

So far, Iran has constructed 900 km of its part of the pipeline, while Pakistan has yet to start a work at its end. As per the agreement, Iran would supply Pakistan with 750 million cubic feet of natural gas per day for 25 years from the end of 2014.

However, since its inception, the agreement has been mired in political controversy, perpetually delaying the implementation of the project from our end. Pakistan’s dependence on US compels one to question that ‘Why did we commit to such an undertaking in the first place?’

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