In a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Islamabad Alireza Haqiqian, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani said he has directed the country's officials to speed up the implementation of the agreements concluded between Islamabad and Tehran on a gas pipeline project.
Gilani stated that Pakistan would work together with Iran to complete the project on schedule.
The 2700-kilometer long pipeline was to supply gas for Pakistan and India which are suffering a lack of energy sources, but India has evaded talks. Iran and Pakistan declared they would finalize the agreement bilaterally if India continued to be absent in the meetings.
According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Iran's Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100 km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Baluchistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to the project.
The gas will be supplied from the South Pars field. The initial capacity of the pipeline will be 22 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum, which is expected to be later raised to 55 billion cubic meters. It is expected to cost $7.4 billion.
Elsewhere, Gilani noted that Pakistan and Iran had exceptional multi-dimensional cooperation in the fields of trade, infrastructure, energy, and culture.
In addition, he thanked the Iranian nation for the assistance it provided to Pakistan during the 2010 floods.
The Iranian ambassador, for his part, said that the relations between Pakistan and Iran were progressing well in the right direction.
The ambassador apprised that negotiations regarding the purchase of wheat and rice from Pakistan had completed. The ambassador further said that the two delegations from Pakistan representing water and power, oil and gas were visiting Iran.
He underscored the importance of collaboration in the banking sector which will help realize the full potential of trade between the two countries.