Pakistani Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Khaqan Abbasi has said that Iran gas pipeline project remains the best option for Pakistan.
Mr. Abbasi and Energy Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif on Tuesday inaugurated a two-day seminar in Washington, highlighting business opportunities in the clean energy sector in Pakistan, according to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
“We are running against time to meet energy deficit. We want energy sources that are both renewable and affordable,” Mr. Asif said in the conference.
“The Iran gas line project is the best option for Pakistan,” said Mr. Abbasi while speaking to the Pakistani media after the first session. “But as long as US sanctions are there, we cannot buy gas from Iran.”
The minister noted that relations between the United States and Iran were improving rapidly after the two signed a nuclear deal earlier this year. “This is good news for us. We hope that sanctions will be removed soon,” he said.
Mr. Abbasi rejected a perception that Pakistan would be forced to pay penalty if it did not buy gas from Iran now.
“Not our fault. We made several attempts in the last 18 months to complete the project on our side. But no investor, no builder came forward,” he said. “Once the sanctions are lifted, we will work on this project. A pipeline is always more reliable than other options.