Iran invites Pakistan’s legal team to discuss IP: Pak daily

Islamabad, Jan 31, IRNA -- A leading Pakistani English news daily reports that Iran has invited Pakistan’s legal team to see if sanctions are effective on gas transactions or not.

Daily ‘The News’ reported that Iran is of the opinion that Pakistan needs to get waiver from the US on gas as India and other countries managed.

Pakistan and Iran signed GSPA (gas sales purchase agreement) in 2009 under IP gas pipeline project in era of Pakistan Peoples’ Party. Since then the project could not get the shape, rather this mega project witnessed many upheavals.

The project was to be implemented under segmented approach meaning by that Iran had to lay down the pipeline on its side and Pakistan had to build the pipeline in its territory.

The project was to be completed by December 2014 and come on stream from January 1, 2015. Under the penalty clause it was agreed by both sides that if Pakistan fails to have intake of Iranian gas from January 1, 2015, it will have to pay $1 million per day as the penalty.

Pakistan has failed to lay down pipeline of 781km in its territory on account of failure in arranging the funding mainly because of the sanctions imposed on Iran for its nuclear ambitions.

“Now under the latest scenario, we have sent to Iranian legal team about 10-12 questions contesting the opinion of Iran on gas sanctions and in return Iranian side has invited Pakistan legal team to hold in-depth talks with its legal wizards over sanctions on gas transaction,” a senior official of Petroleum Division told The News.

However, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Ghulam Sarwar Khan said, “Yes, both the countries are engaged on this issue, but advancement on IP gas line is conditional with the lifting of the sanctions. However, the decision will be made keeping in view the supreme interests of the country.”

Tehran earlier in November, 2018, asked Islamabad in official engagement held in Islamabad to get the waiver from the US sanctions as India has managed, to implement the much delayed Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas line project.

Iranian side in November talks had also emphasised arguing that there exists no sanctions particularly on gas transactions, so Pakistan should come forward and start working for IP gas line implementation.

The Iranian team had asked authorities to initiate concerted efforts to get waiver from the US for implementation of the IP gas line project if Pakistan considers that the US sanctions are also active on gas related transactions.
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