Dec 26, 2008

World - Pakistan offers to buy Indian share of Iranian gas

Islamabad: Pakistan has offered to Iran that it could buy the Indian share of gas from the proposed $ 7.5 billion pipeline project involving the three countries, a media report said on Thursday. It claimed that New Delhi has apparently lost interest in the venture after signing the nuclear deal with the U.S.

Team to go to Iran

A team of energy experts, led by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources, Asim Hussain, would travel to Iran on December 29 to discuss the proposal, the Dawn quoted sources in the Petroleum Ministry as saying.

The team’s visit follows directives from President Asif Ali Zardari and it thoroughly discussed the deal with him and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

During its two-day visit, the delegation will try to persuade the Iranian authorities to sign an agreement to transfer the Indian share of gas to Pakistan in the next few months.

“We will try our best to convince the Iranian side of the need for starting work on the project as early as possible,” an official said.

The sources were quoted as saying that Iran still wanted India to be part of the project to “counter growing U.S. influence on its old ally in the energy sector.” — PTI

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