Iran-Pak sign natural gas pipeline deal; India left out
Islamabad: Iran and Pakistan have signed
a deal in Turkey paving the way for constructing the much-delayed natural gas pipeline that was originally envisaged to extend up to India.
The Inter-State Gas Systems, a semi-autonomous body
that will take care of Pakistan's interests in the import of
gas through the pipeline, and the National Iranian Oil Company
signed the heads of agreement and an operational accord in
Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Syed Naveed
Qamar said in a statement that India is currently not part of
However, he said the heads of agreement dealt with
transporting gas meant for India through Pakistani territory
if and when India decided to join the project.
Under the heads of agreement, Pakistan will have the
right to charge transit fee for gas transported to India.
The pact also addresses the issue of transportation
tariff, which will be worked out in line with international
Pakistan has said the pipeline, which will connect
Iran's South Pars gas field with Balochistan and Sindh
provinces, is crucial to averting a growing energy crisis that
is already causing severe electricity shortages.