Taking small but sure steps in India-Pakistan ties, New Delhi sent a power ministry official delegation to Islamabad on Wednesday to negotiate the export of 500 megawatts across the Wagah border and work out the modalities for transmission of electricity to bridge demand and supply gap on either side.
This month, both countries have already had official-level talks on Indian export of petro products and liquefied natural gas to energy-starved Pakistan.
Government sources said an Indian delegation led by joint secretary (transmission) will be holding second round of talks on August 1 with her Pakistani counterparts to work out an agreement for transfer of 500 megawatts of power from Indian northern grid to a nearest point across the Wagah border.
If the two sides work out an agreement on the modalities of transfer, then the same could be signed during external affairs minister SM Krishna's three-day visit to Pakistan from September 7.
However, it will take more than a year for this proposal to fructify after the agreement as transmission lines would have to be laid across the border so that both countries could tap into each other's grid in case of a shortfall. While the transmission line link is yet to be finalised, the shortest and cheapest would be linking Amritsar to a Pakistani grid point near Lahore with installation of transformers on either side of the border.
Although the bilateral ties have lost momentum due to political instability in Pakistan, a team from Islamabad visited GAIL, Delhi, offices this month to explore the opportunity to import liquefied natural gas from India either through pipelines or through tankers. Another Indian petroleum ministry delegation was in Islamabad this month for export of petro products and import of naptha from the other side.
Official sources said that while LNG export is workable, the hitch in petrol, diesel and lubricants export to Pakistan is of prior commitments of Islamabad with Gulf countries.