TEHRAN -Tehrans Envoy to Islamabad Mashallah Shakeri Wednesday announced that Iran would start pumping gas to Pakistan as early as next year. If desired, Pakistan can connect with the pipeline next year, the ambassador told IRNA news agency. He said the Iranian government has constructed the pipeline on war footing just to facilitate Pakistan. Shakeri, who is in his fifth year as Tehrans envoy to Islamabad, said his country is earnestly and sincerely desirous of providing gas to Pakistan. According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Irans Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100 km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Balochistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to be part of the project. The gas will be supplied from the South Pars field. The initial capacity of the pipeline will be 22 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum, which is expected to be later raised to 55 billion cubic meters. It is expected to cost $7.4 billion.