ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif on Thursday has formally invited Russian President Vladimir Putin while forwarded an offer to inaugurate North-South Gas Pipeline.
Nawaz held a meeting with a Russian delegation in the federal capital.
On the occasion, the PM forwarded an invitation through the delegation to his Russian counterpart. He expressed wish regarding inauguration of the gas pipeline by the President of the country which is collaborating in the project.
He said that Pakistan-Russia relations have entered a new phase that marks strength and extended cooperation in different sectors.
Delegation led by Chairman of Pakistan-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) appreciated peace initiatives by Pakistan in the region. Nawaz said that bilateral ties between the friendly countries would benefit both. The PM said that Pakistan made sincere efforts to curb terrorism and extremism.
Militants’ hideouts and infrastructure have been destroyed in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb, he added. Nawaz said that the people of Pakistan stand with the government on its policies to counter insurgency.
During the meeting, the PM also talked about opportunities of trade between Russia and Pakistan. Nawaz stressed need to initiate direct flights between Moscow to Islamabad. Traders and investors would benefit a lot from the act, he added.
Nawaz steered the conversation to Afghanistan peace progress and said that Pakistan believes in resolution of the issue with consent of the people there. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, investment board chairman Muftah Ismail and others.
It should be mentioned here that the gas project would bring at least $2 billion investment in Pakistan. The pipeline would run at least 1,100 Kilometres (Km) from Karachi to Lahore making possible smooth supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
It is also worth mentioning here that China has agreed to play contractor in the Russia-Pakistan project. The deal was signed in October in Islamabad between the two sides. The fisrt phase of the project is likely to conclude in December 2017. The pipeline will supply at least 12.4 billion cubic metre gas per annum.