Islamabad has said that it will fulfill its undertaking to lay gas pipelines on Pakistan soil, adding that gas imports from Iran will begin as of late 2016 or early 2017.
Pakistani Oil Minister Khaqan Abbassi assured on Sunday that the Pakistani government will fulfill its undertaking to lay gas pipelines on its side and Pakistan’s gas imports from Iran will begin as of late 2016 or early 2017.
The Pakistani oil minister whose comments were reported by the country’s mass media noted that Islamabad is involved in talks with Tehran to convince the Iranian officials to extend the delivery date of the Iranian gas transfer from its original 2014 to 2016 or one year later.
On reparation for Islamabad’s delay in completing the pipeline on the Pakistani side, the minister said that Iran has thus far not asked for compensations, but negotiations are underway to settle the dispute.
“Natural gas is cleaner, its imports are less costly, and the people in cities and villages can get easy access to it. That is why I predict that rather than one pipeline, Pakistan will ask for construction of three, or even four gas pipelines from Iran to our country,’ he added.
The completion of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline – which was initially called the Iran-Pakistan-India Peace Pipeline and there were talks to extend it up to China – has been delayed for several times on the Pakistani side.
In line with efforts by President Rouhani’s government to seek détente with the world and the visit by economic delegations from different countries to Tehran, Islamabad has seemingly realized that the continued delay might put the Pakistani national interests at stake.