By Agha Iqrar Haroon
Regional Observer & Political Analyst for Afghanistan and Central Asia
ISLAMABAD: Russia is extending full support to Pakistan to deal with its energy crises but there is a stiff resistance within Pakistan to accept Russian offers as Pakistani foreign office has a historic tilt towards United States and does not come out of US clutches irrespective of situation what government and political party is in power.
Pakistan was facing cash crises to build Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and there are fears that this project will be halted by Pakistan on the pressure of United States but Pakistan government will show that project is halted because there is no money to finish it. now situation has changed and Russia has extended financial and technical assistance to Pakistan in order to complete the multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project as a part of the new Russian policy to look towards South Asia. Now Pakistan has no excuse for not to finish this project which is pain in the neck of United States.
Russian delegation led by Deputy Energy Minister Yury Sentyurin held a meeting with the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad on Wednesday and offered complete solution to deal with energy crises of Pakistan , revealed a high official to this scribe. A state-owned Russian company, Gazprom, or one of its subsidiaries will soon make a formal contact with the Pakistani government to execute the IP gas pipeline project.
Iran has already built 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil and is helping to build the 700-kilometer part of the pipeline on the Pakistani side. The pipeline project is designed to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages.
The official said that Russia has also decided to play a role in accomplishing the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project and wants to become part of a consortium which is to execute the project.
Apart from it, Russia has also clearly indicated to Pakistan that it wants the electricity trade project (CASA-1,000) to be extended to Russia as it is rich in electricity and is currently exporting power to Mongolia, China and Europe.
The official said that Russia has also sought a role in developing coal-based projects at Gadani, arguing that it has the best expertise in the world to make such coal based projects.
Moreover, the Russian delegation also offered its services to install power projects based on the lignite coal of Thar.
Tag: Russia Pakistan relations