ISLAMBADA: Pakistan and India have principally agreed to resolve fundamental issues of Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project and committed to start the construction work next year. This was stated by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Khawaja Muhammad Asif and his Indian counterpart Murli Deora at a joint news conference after holding lengthy talks on the IPI project in Here on Friday.
Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that three basic issues including structure of the pipeline company (which will execute and manage the project), transportation tariff and transit fee had been discussed. Consensus was emerged on the principles on which the bilateral agreement will be concluded, he added.
Both the Ministers agreed to consult with their respective Governments for an early conclusion of the agreement on these issues. The project named as “PEACE PIPELINE” will be completed in September 2012 at a total cost of 7.5 billion dollars and Pakistan will contribute three billion dollars.
The Ministers acknowledged that the project was of immense economic and strategic value for both countries as well as it will add a new dimension to bilateral relationship and go a long way in improving the quality of life of the people of the two countries. Khawaja Asif said Iran will supply 2.46 billion cubic gas per day and both Pakistan and India. He said the two countries will get equal share.
He said that with the completion of this project a new era of economic and development will usher in the region. He said the Pipeline will not only meet the need of the energy, but will also strengthen the ties between the two neighborly countries. The Indian Petroleum Minister Mr. Murli Deora said he held very fruitful discussions with his Pakistani counterpart in a positive spirit. He said that they had reached to the agreement principally and hoped that they can go ahead with the project.
He said his country believed that close economic cooperation with its neighbors was not only a necessity, but it also served the states interests and strengthens the overall relationship. To a question, he said India had not discussed IPI with US. Regarding security problem Khawaja Asif said there was no security concern to the pipeline as they had made precautionary measures to protect it. He said the gas pipeline will come from Iranian Balochistan along with coastal route and joint Nawab Shah in Sindh.-SANA