Iran, Pak to bypass India, US on gasline project

Iran, Pak to bypass India, US on gasline project

Iran and Pakistan are learnt to have decided to proceed expeditiously on the gas pipeline project, by neither waiting for reluctant India nor bothering the US, according to an ANI report.

A Pak-Iran agreement in this regard is likely to be signed early next month to cement their already signed Memorandum of Understanding, and also have a renewed one. The agreement, most likely to be signed by the countries’ petroleum ministers, would be followed by technical-level talks in order to reach the kick-start phase in the first quarter of the next year.

In order to avoid any pressure from the US, both Pakistan and Iran would opt for linking the independent infrastructure at the borders.

Therefore, they would do the construction work independently, but in close collaboration as well as coordination with each other.

In this manner, the sources observed, this project would not fall prey to the recently slapped sanctions against Iran.

It has also the potential to keep going even in the event of further embargoes in future, reported The Nation.

Well placed sources in Islamabad said that the Iranian envoy to Pakistan recently conveyed a message to Islamabad for an early ministerial level meeting on the bilateral gas pipeline.

Pakistan Petroleum Minister Amanullah Khan Jadoon would meet his Iranian counterpart immediately after Eid for furtherance of the recent head of the state level telephonic talk on the Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline project.

Earlier this month, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and his Iranian counterpart Ahmedinejad had telephonic conversation, especially for going ahead with the gasline in the event of India’s reluctance in the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Gas Pipeline project, said the paper.

The two Presidents had reportedly agreed to accelerate the work on the bilateral project irrespective of the pace on the trilateral one. After the top-level contact between the two countries, especially over this project, the pricing issue of the Iranian gas was no more an impediment in the way of Pak-Iran gasline project, added the paper.

According to the sources, the two Presidents had also sorted out the lack of agreement on the tariff in order to proceed on. (ANI)

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