Iran and Pakistan on Tuesday decided to fast track discussions on the long-delayed gas pipeline project to formulate a road map and a more realistic time schedule for the implementation of the project. The original deadline was December 2014, but Pakistan has been unable to start construction on its share of the pipeline due to lack of funds. It had asked for 2 billion USD from Iran for the project earlier.

An official statement said this was one of the important outcomes of a meeting between Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister's Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs and Dr. Muhammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran today.

Mr. Aziz is in Tehran to participate in the 21 st Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the ten-member Economic Cooperation Organization. It was agreed that comprehensive technical commercial proposals on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline would be discussed in Tehran between Inter-State Gas System Ltd of Pakistan and the Iranian nominated company – Tadbir Energy Gaspar Iranian Co. in the first week of December. This will be followed by ministerial level discussions.

The two Ministers reviewed in detail bilateral cooperation, regional and global issues, the statement said. Both sides emphasized the need to put greater focus on bilateral economic relations. It was also agreed to hold the next round of Joint Ministerial Commission in Tehran early next year.