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Category — IPI Pipeline

Pak not to give guarantee for Iranian gas flows to India: The Dawn, Jan 6

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided not to give any guarantee for gas flows to India through the multi-billion-dollar Iran gas pipeline, it is learnt.

Informed sources told Dawn on Tuesday that Pakistan and Iran had resolved almost all other issues pertaining to the pipeline project, including pricing, project details and quantity of gas to be purchased.

They said that work on the project could be undertaken immediately if Iran did not press Pakistan too much on the guarantee that it had sought to ensure unhindered gas supplies to India through the pipeline.

The sources said Tehran had been told that a friendly project between two neighbourly Muslim countries should not become victim to the interests of a third country and, hence, Iran should not ask Pakistan to guarantee uninterrupted supplies to India given the history of relations between Pakistan and India.

The sources said Iran wanted Pakistan to agree to performance guarantee for gas deliveries if India decided to become part of the tri-nation project. This would require Pakistan to pay penalties to India for gas disruption even in case of sabotage activities or war between the two countries.

The sources said Pakistan was ready to put in place all security measures required to protect the pipeline in the Pakistani territory, but it could not pay the price of gas disruption when its own security was threatened by India itself or any sabotage activity. Pakistan’s defence authorities had also objected to providing iron-clad sovereign guarantees to India for gas supplies through the pipeline crossing Pakistan, the sources added.

India has so far avoided becoming part of the pipeline project although it has been in discussions with Tehran for joining the project and had participated in some trilateral meetings.

The sources said Islamabad required gas supplies from Iran to meet its growing energy needs but it could not compromise its long-term national interests and more so when India and Pakistan could not make any progress to resolve their longstanding issues.

Iran and Pakistan signed gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA) in June last year under which Islamabad would purchase at least 750 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMCFD) from Tehran’s Southern Pars gas field. The gas supplies could be increased to one BCFD at the time of project implementation, the sources said. www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/pakistan-not-to-give-guarantee-for-iranian-gas-flows-to-india-610

January 6, 2010   No Comments