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Iran touts gas benefits for Pakistan

Oct. 17, 2011 at 7:31 AM

LAHORE, Pakistan, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A natural gas pipeline from Iranian gas fields to Pakistan will spark an industrial revolution in Pakistan, the Iranian envoy to Islamabad said.

Pakistani energy officials in August said Islamabad may look to foreign investors to help pay for the construction of a pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran. Pakistan is dealing with a lingering energy crisis because of gas shortages.

Masha'Allah Shakeri, the Iranian envoy to Islamabad, said a bilateral natural gas pipeline could spark an industrial revolution in Pakistan, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reports.

Shakeri, speaking to the chamber of commerce in Lahore, said that with the industrial sector in Pakistan going for days without gas, the national economy was suffering.

The status of the natural gas pipeline has been a subject of debate since its inception as the so-called Peace Pipeline in the 1990s.

India was included in the initial pipeline plans but has stayed on the sidelines in recent years. New Delhi has worked with Washington on civilian nuclear energy programs and U.S. officials have expressed their reservations over the Iranian pipeline project.

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