ISLAMABAD - Pakistan would be discussing with Iran import of huge volume of electricity during the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif tomorrow (August 13).
Senior government officials busy finalising the proposal seemed little concerned about the prospects of the deal on the ground that transmission line from Iran to Pakistan would not be hit by the economic sanctions against Iran.
Iran currently exports around 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the energy starved Pakistan and the proposed deal seeks import of 1,000 megawatts.
“Pakistan is also eying huge opportunities for increasing trade with Iran,” sources said, adding the multi-billion dollars Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project is also on the table.
Pakistan’s trade with Iran, worth $1.3 billion in the financial year 2008-9, plummeted to $217 million dollars in the 2013-4 financial year, dropped after the United States, European Union and UN imposed sanctions to stop Iran from making a nuclear bomb.
The multi-billion dollars Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project is still pending because of the economic sanctions. “There are various proposals in hands on how to go about the gas pipeline project,” a senior official of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources confided to The Nation.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said this project would take off once the economic sanctions against Iran are phased out, sounding upbeat that a deal reached last month means the sanctions could soon be phased out.
On the other hand, Foreign Office spokesperson while confirming the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister on August 13 said both sides would be discussing ways and means to further enhancing bilateral relations.
Apart from meeting Prime Minister Dr Zarif will hold bilateral talks with Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. He will brief Pakistan side on Joint Comprehensive Programme of Action on nuclear issue of Iran, agreed on July 14 in Vienna.
The spokesperson said the two sides will also exchange views on regional and international issue of mutual interest.