Pakistan and Iran are set to sign deals for supply of over 3,000 megawatts of electricity to meet energy needs of the former during Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s visit to Islamabad, beginning March 25.
“Three power import deals are expected to be inked by the two countries including supply of 100MW, 75MW and 1,000MW,” a diplomatic source said while talking to The Express Tribune. The 1,000MW agreement could be extended to 3,000MW of electricity.
Pakistan is already importing 73MW to meet the requirement of Gwadar but payments could not be made since 2011. Now that sanctions have been removed from Iran, officials believe banking channels will be opened, paving the way for payment of outstanding bills.
The schedule of Iranian head of state’s two-day trip was disclosed during a meeting between Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost on Wednesday.
Rouhani’s arrival here holds great significance in the backdrop of lifting of global restrictions and current visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to Saudi Arabia, which has tense relations with Iran. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Water and Power, Minister Khawaja Asif assured the Iranian envoy that Pakistan would play a positive role in bringing peace in the region.
The two dignitaries discussed all areas of mutual interest and bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, trade, business and defence. They agreed that due to lack of economic activities in the region, incidents of terrorism were growing.
Stressing that Pakistan and Iran were enjoying close and cordial relations in different fields, Asif said Pakistan was looking forward to the visit of Iranian president with great interest in the hope that it would lead to further deepening of bilateral ties.