The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat has called upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General for Pakistan to provide insights regarding the concerns the US has voiced about the multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline.
Tehran states they’ve finished their portion of the 1,150-kilometre pipeline, initiated in March 2013. Pakistan was set to complete its section by January 2015, but this was halted in 2014 due to global sanctions. Previous communications from Pakistan to the US have highlighted the energy crisis and sought approval for the pipeline’s continuation.
This August, Pakistan sent a notice to Iran to pause the pipeline’s contractual obligations due to these sanctions.
Pipeline’s Economic Implications
During a Senate panel discussion, Petroleum Additional Secretary Hassan Yousafzai mentioned a 2024 deadline set by Iran for the project’s completion. Not meeting this could result in penalties. He emphasized that the pipeline’s extension to Gwadar would cost about $2 billion, and not fulfilling the agreement might attract an $18 billion penalty.
Concerns were raised regarding the restrictions faced by Pakistan, while Senator Sadia Abbasi pointed out that India hadn’t experienced such limitations. The main objective of the Iranian pipeline was to supply 750 MMCFD of gas. However, the project faced strong opposition from US authorities, especially after Pakistan and Iran signed related agreements between 2009 and 2010.