Iranian President Mahmoud Admadinejad met Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday in Islamabad ahead of a tri-lateral summit of the leaders of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Pakistani press reported that during the meeting Zardari reiterated Pakistani commitment to complete the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline [The Express Tribune, 17 February].
The proposed IP pipeline originally included India, but the Indians withdrew their participation and opted instead for the US-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. Iran has completed the construction of IP pipeline on its side, but the Pakistanis, despite their repeated expression of interest and commitment to the project, are yet to start any work on their side.
Iran has also offered Pakistan deferred oil payments, but that offer was quickly and unexpectedly met with a similar offer from Iraq. The Pakistanis are reportedly negotiating with the Iraqis to finalize a long-term oil contract.
Photo: iranian President Ahmadinejad (l.) with Pakistani President Zardari. Islamabad, 16 February. Photo: Press TV