ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will visit Qatar on February 10 to witness the signing of an agreement for import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar.

The Prime Minister will also hold meetings with Amir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani during his stay in Qatar.

During talks with his Qatari counterpart, the Prime Minister would discuss the situation in the region, bilateral ties and other matters of mutual interest. According to official sources, the date for the Prime Minister’s visit to Qatar has been finalised and an announcement in this regard will be made next week.

Inking of the agreement for LNG import from Qatar will be an important development to overcome the energy crisis being faced by the country. The Ministry of Petroleum continued deliberations on the accord with Qatari authorities for the last one year and the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet gave its approval last week.

Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minster for Water and Power Khawaja Asif and senior government officials will accompany the Prime Minister during the visit.

Pakistan will buy some 200 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) from Qatar and for the purpose; a terminal has already been constructed in collaboration. The LNG is already being imported through Engro while negotiations with two companies of Russia and the United Arab Emirates are also continuing.

Pakistan has been facing shortage of 600 mmcfd natural gas. With the import of LNG, the gas shortage problem would be resolved permanently while it would also help overcome electricity loadshedding in the country, according to official sources.