A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official says Islamabad is “serious” to complete the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.
“Pakistan is serious and Iranian government is aware of that,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam stated in her weekly press briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, adding that Pakistan remains committed to the project.
“We have had discussions and a number of options are under consideration by the two sides. We are considering a number of proposals together,” she stated, referring to a statement by Sartaj Aziz, a senior advisor to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on national security and foreign affairs, in the parliament where he reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the project.
The United States has long been threatening Islamabad with economic sanctions if it goes ahead with the plan.
Under the original agreement sealed between Iran and Pakistan, the first Iranian gas delivery to Pakistan was to start by December 31, 2014.
On February 26, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for International and Trade Affairs Ali Majedi cautioned Islamabad over falling behind schedule in fulfilling its obligations with regard to the project, saying it would be imprudent for Pakistan to link the failure to abide by its commitments to the sanctions imposed on Iran.
Iran has already built 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its own soil and is waiting for the 700-kilometer Pakistani side of the pipeline to be constructed.
Iran and Pakistan clinched the deal 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. Nevertheless, India withdrew from the project in 2009 under U.S. pressure.
(Source: Press TV)