A Pakistani economic forum Tuesday asked the government not to delay the implement of the multi-billion Iran gas pipeline project as it would amount to damage Pakistan's economy.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of the Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) said that Pakistan cannot secure its future without Iranian gas.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said in a statement that Iran has brought pipeline to border and now Islamabad should immediately start building remaining portion of the pipeline.
Decades have already been wasted in discussions and modifications, further wastage of time will jack up costs and leave the industry uncompetitive in the international market, he warned.
Iran produces 5.5 trillion cubic feet of gas per year; it will sell 740 million cubic feet of gas per year which will address around 30 per cent of our gas deficit, he said. The 42 inch diameter pipeline has the capacity to deliver one Bcf per day, he informed.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that rulers seems unconcerned about over 2 per cent yearly fall in the GDP, over 25,000 crumbling industrial enterprises, and untold miseries to the masses.
He observed that the performance of local exploration sector remained dismal despite knowing that our gas fields will be exhausted by 2025.
Interests of the foreign companies that continue to work in the restive regions prove that the business is still profitable for foreigner investors, he said.
American will continue to oppose gas pipeline and do nothing to resolve chronic shortages except offering economically unviable alternatives, Dr. Mughal noted.
Despite sanctions, Iran is India's second major source of crude; it could be Pakistan's major source of gas, he opined.
He asked India to take bold decision of joining the project after getting MFN status as it cannot ignore its nearest gas reserves for long. Dr. Murtaza Mughal asked Imran Khan to keep energy security top priority.
He also advised the government not to accept US pressure on the project as the US is trying to weaken Pakistan through such tactics.