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President Asif Ali Zardari exchanges views with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a meeting. – File Photo by PPI

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari is visiting Iran on Monday to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the long-awaited Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline.

The government believes the project will help Pakistan overcome the energy crisis and spur economic growth.

“President Zardari is going to Iran along with his team as per schedule to witness this ‘big event’,” the president’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar told Dawn on Sunday.

Brushing aside concerns and pressures of the United States, the spokesman said the whole world should realise that the project was being commissioned purely to meet economic needs of the country and was being executed by two sovereign states.

“The government is going to initiate this important project in view of the energy requirements. The project will bring economic prosperity, provide better opportunities to the people and help defeat militancy,” he said.

The ceremony will be held in the Iranian border city of Chabahar on Monday afternoon, according to details released by the ministry of petroleum and natural resources. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mr Zardari will jointly inaugurate the pipeline construction work.

President Zardari will be accompanied by a large delegation comprising ministers, members of parliament and political leaders. Several heads of state have also been invited to the event.

According to the schedule, the Pakistani delegation will arrive at Chabahar Airport at 9am (Iranian time) from where it will be taken to the inauguration site which is at three-hour drive. The ceremony will take place at 12.30pm.

Comments (5) Closed

Hassan Raza Mar 11, 2013 05:35am
At last PPP has done some gud before leaving
Husain Jan Mar 11, 2013 05:27am
Let us hope that all goes well, the ceremony does take place as per schedule and the construction work on pipeline gets started today and finishes ahead of the deadline before the end of 2014. The inflow of Iranian gas into Pakistan will be eagerly awaited.
Reader Mar 11, 2013 09:06am
Pleased that Pakistan has decided to stand up to the US bullying. When it is in US's interest they ignore world comments as is the case of Palestine. It's time the rest of the world follow suit.
Ahmed Mar 11, 2013 06:23am
very good decision indeed. God will help us inshallah in this sucess.
Jalaluddin S. Hussain Mar 11, 2013 04:35am
Congratulations to both the governments (Pakistan and Iran), on inaugurating the gas-pipeline ground-breaking ceremony at Chabahar, near Iran-Pakistan border!