KARACHI: Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Sunday said gas import from Tehran is becoming a reality twenty years after Pakistan and Iran signed pipeline deal.
The project has important political and economic dimensions for the two neighbouring countries but US has remained the biggest obstacle forcing Pakistan to get gas from Turkmenistan, he added.
Talking to the founder president of IWCCI Samina Fazil, he said that plan to import gas from central Asia will not see the light of the day for in the next decade due to situation in Afghanistan while lifting Iran sanctions will reduce energy crisis in Pakistan substantially.
He said that the pipeline project, if materialised, could be extended to India and China providing extra income to Pakistan under transit head while Iran could also provide LNG at economical rates.
The development will add to Iran’s influence in Pakistan and revive its sick energy sector hit by decades of sanctions.
Mian Shahid said that economic and political repercussions of the pipeline are widely debated as it will cover the gas shortfall in Pakistan which Iran will find new markets to the east to expand and diversifying energy export revenues.
Iran has already raised its oil prices by 9 percent and set an output target of 5.7 MMBOPD of crude oil by 2018 which indicates its confidence while India is jacking up its LNG imports from 20 million tonnes to 25 million tonnes in three years for which a floating terminal has been planned in Mumbai costing 470 million dollars.
At the occasion, Samina Fazil lauded the role of Pakistan of not taking sides in the Yemen conflict which has been lauded by some friendly countries.
She said that Pakistan should contact foreign investors and allocate funds for the project in the upcoming budget as there is high probability of removal of sanctions next month.
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