Earlier this week, Islamabad’s Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan have asked Iran for US$ 2 billion in financing to build its side of the controversial Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline, which has drawn threats of US sanctions.
Whilst the Iranian side of the US$ 4.5 billion project is almost complete, Pakistan has run into financial problem for the 780 km section to be built on its side of the border. Abbasi said that though preliminary work for the pipeline was complete, Iran had been asked to provide US$ 2 billion for construction work.
“All these issues will be discussed in a meeting which we have requested, but so far there is no reply from the Iranian side.” He added “they were busy in cabinet formation and I hope that this meeting will take place within this month.”
Funding is the latest setback to the long-delayed section of the Iran-Pakistan pipeline. Last month, the US had warned that the project would risk triggering sanctions aimed at Iran. Abbasi, however, denied any pressure from Washington. “Americans have not so far talked about this pipeline with us at any level,” he said.
Asked if Pakistan was hoping to complete the project before the December 2014 deadline, Abbasi replied: "Anything is possible, if we have the resources [...] It depends on the financing and availability of the machinery".
Edited from various sources by Hannah Priestley-Eaton
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