Indo-Asian News Service
Islamabad, May 29, 2005|17:49 IST
Pakistan and India will start a new round of talks on building a gas pipeline from Iran June 5, when Union Petroleum Minister Mani ankar Aiyar visits Pakistan on a four-day official visit, reported Online news agency.
A senior government official said Aiyar will arrive in Lahore on June 4 and then visit Islamabad and Karachi on June 5 and June 7 respectively.
"Aiyar is scheduled to meet President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and will hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart on the proposed gas pipeline project and discuss other aspects of energy cooperation," said the official who did not want to be named.
During his visit, it is expected that Aiyar will push for diesel and petrochemical exports to Pakistan as India is keen to export diesel, the official noted.
"If Pakistan agrees to import diesel from India, then it will import diesel from India initially by road and later through a pipeline," he said.
Under the proposed gas pipeline project, a 1,400-mile pipeline will be built from Iran through Pakistan and onto India at an estimated cost of $3.7 billion.
Iran boasts the world’s second largest gas reserves of 812 trillion cubic feet or 15.8 per cent of the globe’s total available supply.
According to the plan, the route of the gas pipeline will be overland.
It will traverse easier terrain along Iran’s and Pakistan’s Mekrancoast, pass the vicinity of Karachi and continue eastwards along the Rann of Kutch to terminate at the industrial city of Ahmedabad.