Islamabad – Pakistan has issued tender for the laying of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline in its territory to a German company, Secretary Petroleum was quoted as saying on Sunday.
According to the Secretary Petroleum, Pakistan has offered $250 million to a German company ILF Engineering for laying of gas pipeline inside its territory, Geo TV reported.

The laying of gas pipeline would be completed by 2014, the secretary added.

The TV channel termed the decision as progress on the multi-billion project, which is essential for energy-hungry Pakistan.

Pakistani leaders have rejected US pressure on the project after the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Pakistan on Wednesday that Iran gas pipeline project was “inexplicable” and could invoke the US sanctions that would further ‘undermine’ Pakistan’s ‘already shaky’ economy.

Pakistan was quick to react to Clinton’s harsh remarks as Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, Thursday rejected any foreign pressure on Iran gas pipeline project and said the project is in the national interest of the country to acquire energy from wherever it is available.

‘We cannot afford to be selective,’ Khar told a press conference in Islamabad on return from her visit to Britain, where she also met Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of a conference. She also said that Pakistan is facing a real energy crisis and stressed the need to address its energy needs at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani also came up with a statement to defend the country’s quest to go ahead with the pipeline project with Iran.

“Pakistan being a sovereign state would do whatever was in its own interest,” PM Gilani said while responding to a question during ‘Prime Minister’s Online’ program at the stat television when asked about US opposition to Iran’s gas line.

Pakistan and Iran have already agreed to complete the pipeline by mid-2014. Iran said in July last year that it has completed construction of its nearly 1172-kilometer section of the 2,775-kilometer pipeline.

Under the agreement, Pakistan will import 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian gas daily.

Source: Zawya & IRNA