Diplomat: Iran, Pakistan to Make Final Decision on IP Gas Pipeline Soon
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iran’s consul general in the Pakistani city of Lahore announced that high-ranking officials representing the two countries will in the near future launch talks to reach a final decision on the fate of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.
Speaking to reporters in Pakistan’s Sialkot on Tuesday, Iran’s Consul General in Lahore Mohammad Hossain Bani Asadi said the fate of the IP gas pipeline will be determined during Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s upcoming visit to Iran.
He said Sharif is expected to discuss the issues pertaining to the completion of the multi-billion-dollar pipeline --projected to carry natural gas from Iran to Pakistan-- at a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the near future.
According to a number of Pakistani diplomats, Sharif will visit neighboring Iran in the near future in order to discuss the ground for the enhancement of the ties between Islamabad and Tehran.
Elsewhere in his comments, Bani Asadi said he could not make any predictions about the fate of the IP gas pipeline.
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.
The government of Pakistan, which suffers from chronic energy shortages, especially in the summer, has made it clear that addressing the country’s longstanding energy problems will be its top priority, and that it has no plans to reverse the decision on the completion of IP pipeline.
The final construction phase of the IP pipeline was inaugurated on March 11, 2013. Iran has already built 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.
Pakistan, however, has fallen short of constructing the 700-kilometer part of the pipeline on its territory.