ISLAMABAD - Iran, owing to apparent delay in the construction of multi-billion dollars 781km Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipelines in Pakistani side, has raised its concerns in a high level meeting, it has been learnt reliably here on Tuesday.

Well-placed sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting told TheNation that a high profile meeting was held here on Tuesday to discuss and review advancement made so far in the construction of IP gas pipeline where Irani delegation was led by its Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs on Petroleum Dr Khalid while Additional Secretary Petroleum Abid Saeed represented Pakistani side. They told that during the course of this meeting Iran while showing serious concerns on slow pace of work in the construction of gas pipeline in Pakistani side, has said that if Pakistan remained failed to purchase Iranian gas till 31st December 2014 then it would have to bear heavy fine worth of one million dollar on daily basis.

It was also learnt that Iran had completed the construction of two-gas pipeline in its side and had once again offered financial support and technical assistance to Pakistan. Further, due to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipelines project, Iran has now shown its willingness to decrease the tariff of IP gas pipelines project. 

Sources also informed that official of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP&NR) had informed the meeting about its advancement towards reaching an agreement with Russia in the construction of IP gas pipelines. They further told that Pakistan while giving its assurance to Iran over the purchase of Iranian gas in time has told that tenders had already been called for the engineering, procurement and construction of the IP project while the construction of gas pipelines in Pakistani side is concerned, this work would be given to a company very soon.

It is to be noted here that the MP&NR, in a bid to ensure that Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project does not remain a dream, had sent a draft of agreement to Russia on Monday for the construction of gas pipelines in Pakistani side and for financing of IP project as well.  “The ministry has given two options to Russia for the construction of gas pipelines and financing for IP project. However, Russia has also been offered the engineering of IP gas pipelines, its procurement and construction too by Pakistan in the sent draft agreement,” sources adding, that Pakistan has also offered Russia a government to government level agreement in this regards.

Sources further told that Russia would send back the draft agreement to Pakistan within 15 days. They were of the opinion that IP gas pipelines project would be materialised in time simply with the help of Russia as it had shown its willingness on 27th June to participate in the IP project viewing the international laws in this regard. Pakistan had to construct 781km gas pipelines and Russian company named, as PJSC Stroytransgaz, would offer its services to complete the IP pipelines. Moreover, Iran had already offered $500 million, compressors and necessary material of pipelines to materialise project in time.  It is also worth mentioning that with this gas pipeline project (IP), 750-mmcfd gas will reach Pakistan to meet its demands.