Pakistan’s Energy Minister Hammad Azhar recently announced that talks are underway with Russia for the Kazakhstan-Pakistan gas pipeline. The pipeline would enable Pakistan to import cheaper gas than it is currently importing. Pakistan started importing LNG around seven years ago, and the country became the ninth largest importer of LNG in just a span of time.
The recent uptick in gas prices globally and the country’s depleting gas resources have forced Pakistan to look for other cheaper avenues to import gas. Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said that “We are working on substitutes as the local reserves are depleting.”
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However, the country currently does not have favorable laws in place that support the import of gas. Hence, the energy ministry team is also working to ensure that favorable laws are introduced to import gas which would not just help reduce energy shortages in winter times but also boost trade and bolster the export activity of the country.
The country’s energy minister mentioned that “laws are being made to mix imported LNG and imported gas with locally produced natural one to ensure supply to the domestic consumers in the country.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Russia comes at a crucial time and with great expectations. Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to push for the Kazakhstan-Pakistan gas pipeline during his visit to Moscow.
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The pipeline is being developed by Gazprom – Russia’s energy giant and has been laid till Afghanistan. However, the mission would not come without its fair share of impediments along the way, considering that the incumbent government in Afghanistan is faced with a host of security challenges.
Imran Khan’s visit to Russia comes after a decade of President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to Russia back in 2011. The visit comes a few months after Russia started amassing troops at the Ukrainian broder. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan are expected to exchange views on regional security and bilateral cooperation.