MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. Pakistan’s Ambassador to Moscow Shafqat Ali Khan hopes that the construction of the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline can begin in 2023 and the tone for this process will be set by the intergovernmental commission of the two countries [Russia and Pakistan] next January.
"I hope so (start of construction in 2023 - TASS), but the intergovernmental commission will set the tone," the diplomat said responding to the relevant question in an interview with TASS.
He noted that as the ambassador he is trying "to facilitate the process of interaction."
Shafqat Ali Khan stressed that Islamabad considers this project a strategic one and in terms of the political will of the parties there are no obstacles to its implementation. However, there are difficulties on other levels.
"The problems we are facing right now are on a different level - these are procedural, legal, financial issues which are not critical. The main thing is that the project remains on track in terms of the political will of the two governments and recently Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Putin had an excellent meeting in Samarkand, the summit meeting. The two sides reiterated that they are determined to move forward," the Ambassador said.
The intergovernmental agreement on construction of the North-South gas pipeline (the Pakistan Stream) was signed by Russia and Pakistan in October 2015. The project implementation timeframe has been repeatedly postponed since then.
On May 28, 2021, Russia’s Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov and the Ambassador of Pakistan to Russia signed a document that will make it possible to start implementation of the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline construction project in the near future.