Islamabad: Pakistan’s Petroleum Advisor Dr Asim Hussain said that the groundbreaking of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline will be performed on March 11, despite US warnings of sanctions on the country.
The date was announced after Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari held talks in Tehran with Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who urged Islamabad to press ahead with the project.
Talking to media, Dr Asim said that the ceremony would mark the start of work by an Iranian-Pakistani consortium on the 781-kilometre pipeline allocateD for the Pakistani side of the border, which is said to cost some $1.5 billion.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani officials have said that they hoped the presidents of both countries would attend a ceremony on 11 March.
Officials say the pipeline on the Iranian side of the border has been completed, and that this month will see the start of work on the project in Pakistan.
Power shortages have become a major issue in Pakistan, with the government ordering an investigation into a nation-wide power cut on Sunday blamed on a technical fault in a plant in south-western Balochistan province.