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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Iran-Pakistan 'Peace Pipeline'

TEHRAN, May 24: President Asif Ali Zardari and his Iranian counterpart Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed on Sunday an inter-governmental framework declaration to support a gas pipeline agreement between the oil ministries of Pakistan and Iran.

According to APP, a gas sale-purchase agreement was signed by the managing directors of the National Iranian Oil Company and the Inter-State Gas System (ISGS) under which Iran will provide 750 million cubic feet of gas a day to Pakistan over the next 25 years.

The deal, called ‘Peace Pipeline’ by Iran’s oil ministry, was signed on the sidelines of a tripartite summit of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran on eliminating terrorism, drugs and human trafficking.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin and Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain attended the signing ceremony. About 1,100 kilometers of pipeline for gas supply would be laid inside Iran and 1,000 kilometers in Pakistan. The pipeline will be completed in five years.

Dr Asim Hussain said the two sides also signed the final consultative process document. Kalbe Ali adds from Islamabad: A delegation member told Dawn that work on the project design would start soon.

“Pakistan has already appointed the German company ILF for designing the pipeline,” petroleum ministry sources said, adding that the pipeline would enter Pakistan near Gwadar and it would be connected with the national gas distribution network near Nawabshah.

The project, originally called the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, was conceived in 1995. India quit the project in 2008.

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