Former Iranian Envoy to Islamabad Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian said Islamabad has no substitute for the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline and it, thus, has no other option but to accomplish the project, given the energy crisis in the country.
"Owing to the grave conditions of energy (supply and demand) in Pakistan, some of the country's major cities spend half of the day without electricity, meaning that Pakistan's need to energy is real and inevitable," Taherian told FNA on Saturday.
He underlined that Pakistan has no other choice, but to accomplish the IP gas pipeline since the country's future, progress and development all depend on energy and Iran's gas resources.
Noting that Pakistan has not fulfilled its undertakings based on its agreement with Iran to complete the IP gas pipeline project on its territory, Taherian cautioned that any delay in the execution of the project will incur a huge financial loss on Islamabad as it will have to pay much bigger sums for the same project in future.
Under an agreement between Tehran and Islamabad, Pakistan was to get 750 million cubic feet of gas per day (mcfd) from January 1, 2015. Later, the gas supply from Iran was to be increased to 1 billion cubic feet gas per day (bcfd). Now the import of gas under the IP project seems a non-starter. If Pakistan fails to meet its obligation, then after the deadline, it will have to pay to Iran the huge penalty of almost $200 million a month.
Iran has already built 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its own soil and is waiting for the 781-kilometer Pakistani side of the pipeline to be constructed.
The IP pipeline is designed to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages.