LAHORE – The Etisalat, leading telecommunication corporation of UAE, is reluctant to respond the new ‘relaxed’ offer of Pakistani government for resolving long pending dispute of $800 million between the both, it has been learnt reliably.

The government about a month back had proposed a new solution to the dispute and it was then hoped that matter would be settled within a week.

The dispute has been dragging on for more than four years after for the privatisation of PTCL with $2.6 billion deal in 2006. Under the deal, the government had to transfer properties of PTCL to the telecom operator but it had been facing tough resistance of encroachers and other legal issues in transferring properties to Eitsalat.

Owing to government powerlessness to transfer about 140 properties to telecom company due to legal issues, the Etisalat had been offered to pay the amount after deducting money of the disputed properties according to the market value.

“The Eitsalat management yet has given no response to government and against the government wish, matter may take months to be settled,” said high official of the PTCL, who is aware of development.

The official wishing anonymity added that as the PPP government eyes to raise funds and save its credit situation before the upcoming budget, the further delay or refusal of the Etisalat management to enter into the new deal could create severe financial problem for government. According to the sources, though the government had evaluated market price of the disputed properties, the Eitsalat management is seeking further time to review the offer, according to the source. The official held that Abu Dhabi based telecom operator has had strong reservation about the price fixing formula by the government of Pakistan.