Welders working on a part of Iran-Pakistan pipeline

Islamabad Temporarily Halts Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, 08/09/2023

Pakistan has put a temporary hold on the ambitious multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project to import energy from Iran.

According to media reports, the decision appears to be influenced by pressure from the United States, which has imposed sanctions against Iran due to concerns over its nuclear program.

Initially envisioned as a joint endeavor between India, Pakistan and Iran, the gas pipeline project later evolved into a bilateral initiative between Pakistan and Iran after India's withdrawal. However, the implementation of the project has faced setbacks due to the stringent sanctions imposed by the US on Iran.

Citing external factors beyond Islamabad's control, Pakistan issued a notice of 'Force Majeure and Excusing Event' to Iran, thereby suspending its contractual obligations related to the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project. The Dawn newspaper reported that Pakistan conveyed its inability to advance the project as long as US sanctions against Iran remained in effect, or until a signal was received from Washington permitting the project's resumption.

Musadik Malik. Pakistan’s Minister of State for Petroleum, stated, "Pakistan has issued a Force Majeure and Excusing Event notice to Iran under the Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA), which resultantly suspends Pakistan's obligations under the GSPA."

Meanwhile, last week during a visit to Pakistan, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian stressed the project's importance in focusing on regional connectivity, energy cooperation, and enhancing economic and investment partnerships between both countries.

While Tehran continues with the completion of its 1,150-kilometer pipeline segment, Pakistan's section has encountered several setbacks. The project, initiated in 2013 with a USD 7.5 billion estimate, faced a delay as international sanctions hindered Pakistan's commitment to finish by January 2015.

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