Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has stepped in to resolve the price dispute that has threatened the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.
Musharraf telephoned his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to seek early conclusion of the project by resolving the pricing issue on a fast track basis, the Dawn said, adding that the call was made early last week.
Both foreign office spokespersons Tasnim Aslam and military spokesman Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan said the conversation was about the IPI project. Aslam said that the two leaders agreed to stay in touch on the matter.
"The basic subject was the IPI pricing formula," Gen Sultan said, adding that Musharraf called for early conclusion of the deal and resolution of the pricing issue at the earliest. The Iranian president reportedly agreed.
IRNA, the official news agency of Iran, quoted President Musharraf as saying: "Pakistan supports the (gas pipeline) project ... because of its increasing needs for energy. We request the project be accelerated."
The IPI project and the pricing issue will be discussed in detail when Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri visits Iran on December 20-21. Kasuri discussed the issue during his India visit last month.