Pakistan denies reports that it might pull out of the multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project with Iran amid renewed efforts by the US to convince the country to abandon the project. “It is a project which is in our national interest and we are determined to pursue it,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Moazzam Ahmed Khan said in a weekly press briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.
The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, projected to cost USD1.2-1.5 billion US, would enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis.Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil. Pakistani Minister of Oil and Natural Resources Asim Hussain said on September 4 that the gas pipeline project would become fully operational in 2014. He said surveys for the project were due to be completed before October 2012 and construction could start as early as December 2012. MP/HGH/SS