Pipe Dream

Southasia - - Briefing -

Af­ter two days of ne­go­ti­a­tion , Pak­istan last month turned down a re­quest by Iran to of­fer it a tran­sit fa­cil­ity of Ira­nian exports to In­dia and ex­pressed reser­va­tions about al­low­ing Tehran to fi­nance the Pak­istan por­tion of the gas pipe­line be­tween the two neigh­bors, ow­ing to in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions against Iran’s en­ergy sec­tor.

Iran had de­manded from Pak­istan tran­sit fa­cil­ity for trans­porta­tion of Ira­nian goods through Pak­istani land route to In­dia through the Wa­gah bor­der. It had also of­fered to fi­nance Pak­istan’s por­tion of the gas pipe­line be­tween the two coun­tries. The is­sues were among the agenda of the18th ses­sion of the Pak­istan-Iran Joint Eco­nomic Com­mis­sion that was held in Is­lam­abad last month.

Iran also of­fered fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for up­grad­ing rail­way line and road at the Pak-Iran bor­der, af­ter the wors­en­ing law and or­der sit­u­a­tion and in­creas­ing in­ci­dents of rob­beries at Quetta to Taf­tan high­way. Ira­nian of­fi­cials dis­cussed se­cu­rity mea­sures for pro­posed bus ser­vice and con­struc­tion of ser­vice ar­eas at the Quetta bor­der.

Dif­fer­ent MoUs on In­ter­na­tional Trans­porta­tion of goods and pas­sen­gers, abo­li­tion of visa for driv­ers car­ry­ing goods and pas­sen­gers across the bor­der, ex­port of freight cars, and con­sult­ing ser­vice to Pak­istan Rail­ways by Ira­nian rail­ways and set­ting up of a busi­ness fo­rum be­tween busi­ness­men of two coun­tries were re­viewed.

The two coun­tries also con­sti­tuted joint work­ing groups to fa­cil­i­tate co­op­er­a­tion in the en­ergy sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly on Iran’s of­fer to sell 1,100 megawatts of elec­tric­ity to Pak­istan.

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