islamabad -

Iranian and Indian oil ministers are due to discuss extension of a gas pipeline project which is due to take Iran’s rich gas reserves to Pakistan and then to India in a meeting in New Delhi next week.
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi is slated to visit New Delhi next week to hold a meeting with Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily on the peace pipeline, Faras News Agency(FNA) reported Saturday. Earlier this month, Iranian Oil Ministry Spokesman Alireza Nikzad Rahbar announced that New Delhi has renewed interest in the extension of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline to India.
“Since India has been motivated by Pakistan’s seriousness in construction of the (Iran-Pakistan) peace pipeline, New Delhi is negotiating to join the project,” Nikzad Rahbar said. The Iranian official noted that “there has been considerable progress in the IP gas pipeline, with Iranian contractors starting work on the Pakistani section of the pipeline, after finishing nearly 900 kilometers of the pipeline on Iran’s soil”.
Last month, Iran and Pakistan officially inaugurated the construction phase of a gas pipeline project which is due to take Iran’s rich gas reserves to the energy-hungry South Asian nation. The 2700-kilometer long pipeline was to supply gas for Pakistan and India which are suffering a lack of energy sources, but India has evaded talks.
In 2011, Iran and Pakistan declared they would finalize the agreement bilaterally if India continued to be absent in the meeting. According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Iran’s Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100 km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Baluchistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to the project.