President Asif Ali Zardari and Qatar's Minister for Justice Hassan bin Abdullah Al-Ghanim meeting at the Doha International Airport, Qatar.

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari left for Doha on Tuesday for two days for talks with the Qatari leadership on a proposed plan to import LNG from that country via India.

President’s spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said Mr Zardari was expected to finalise trans-national formalities for importing LNG as soon as possible.

The president is accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Prime Minister’s Adviser on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain.

President Zardari is paying his first official visit to the State of Qatar at the invitation of the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

On Aug 15 this year, the president had met the Emir on the sidelines of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Makkah.

A senior official of the ministry of petroleum told Dawn that besides importing LNG from Qatar through a terminal in India there was also a proposal to import LNG directly from India through a 60-km pipeline which India would lay to the Wagah border.

Dr Asim Hussain had informed the National Assembly in March that Pakistan planned to import 500 mmcfd LNG from Qatar to meet its energy requirements.

He said the price of LNG was yet to be decided by the two countries.He expressed the hope that the supply would be started within one and a half years.

In February, Pakistan and Qatar signed a Memorandum of Understanding for importing 3.5 million tons of LNG.

According to media reports, Qatar has authorised the US energy giant ConocoPhillips to finalise LNG deal with Pakistan.

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