Pakistan and Russia have signed an inter-governmental agreement for the construction of gas pipeline project from Lahore to Karachi.      

Speaking in Radio Pakistan’s program, Chairman, Board of Investment Miftah Ismail said: “Pakistan and Russia have signed an agreement to lay down 1,100 kilometer long LNG pipeline, which is an evidence of improving bilateral relations between the two countries. This project will help to overcome our energy crisis by supplying fuel to power houses. On the other hand, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has inaugurated a LNG consumed power plant in Haveli Bahadur Shah near district Jhang. Our government is working on energy projects day and night and has launched several power generation projects, including wind, coal and hydel. Most of the ongoing projects will start generating power by 2017 and we are hopeful that the load-shedding will be overcome, with the addition of more power in national grid.”

Economist Dr. Shahid Hassan Siddiqui said: “China and Russia are taking keen interest in the development of South Asia. Pakistan is facing heavy losses due to energy shortfall in the country. It is the responsibility of our government to take benefit from the experiences of China and Russia in this regard. Pakistan needs long-term and short term projects to overcome its energy crisis. Hydel projects can produce cheaper energy but it takes time. Pakistan will become an economic hub of the region after the completion of Gawadar port. Agreement to lay down a gas pipeline between Pakistan and Russia is quite important. The Unite States had signed an agreement with Pakistan in 2006 to increase bilateral cooperation. The United States also promised to provide economic support to Pakistan in return of Islamabad’s active role in war against terrorism. Pakistan fulfilled its commitment by launching a comprehensive operation against terrorism, but United States has failed to provide economic aid to Pakistan.”

Senior analyst Dr. A. Z. Hilali said: “The United States has been providing support to Afghan government to make it stable. American forces have trained the Afghan security forces but they have failed to control the law and order situation in the country. Now, the United States has come to realize that sustainable peace in Afghanistan is only possible through dialogue with Taliban. After the occupation of Kunduz by Taliban, the United States is once again seeking help from Pakistan. The Washington wants to maintain sustainable peace in Afghanistan with the help of Pakistan. China is investing huge sums in Pakistan, which will change the economic position of our country. Taliban cannot be defeated by Afghan forces because the United States itself trained Taliban against Russia in past.”

Senior analyst Dr. Sarfaraz said: “American troops will remain present in Jalalabad, Kabul and other major cities of the Afghanistan to counter Taliban and IS. Prime Minister will brief the US officials about Pakistani sacrifices in war against terrorism during his visit to the US. The US has withdrawn a large number of troops from Afghanistan and the remaining troops are engaged in training and assisting the Afghan national forces. Pakistan has condemned the occupation of Kunduz by Taliban. The United States wants to take Pakistan on board to re launch talks with Taliban. The role of Pakistan in these talks is quite significant.”

Analyst Professor Dr. Ghulam Mustafa said: “Obama has announced new Afghan policy and he has the support of many members of Congress. After many years of war against terrorism, United States didn’t have any tangible results. Taliban have gained momentum after the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. If United States thinks it can bring peace in Afghanistan without Pakistani support, it will be a wrong assumption Pakistan has rendered great sacrifices for peace in Afghanistan and the region. Without resolving Kashmir issue, peace will not prevail in South Asia. India is creating troubles for Pakistan by training terrorists in Afghanistan and Afghan soil is being used by Indian spy agency RAW to destabilize Pakistan.”

Defense analyst Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Talat Masood said: “Recent developments in Afghanistan, particularly the capture of Kunduz by Taliban, and increase in their influence in some Afghan areas has forced the US to rethink its troops’ withdrawal strategy in that country. The US is also afraid of the rise of sympathizers of the extremist group Daesh in Afghanistan. Consequently, the Obama administration has decided to extend the stay of their troops in Afghanistan till the end of 2017. This is also an indirect message to Taliban that they cannot be given free reign in the war torn country. The US forces will help Afghan government check the influence of Taliban. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will soon visit the US where he will apprise the US officials about the India-Pakistan relations. Former US ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson has recently been appointed Pak Afghan Special Envoy and his services can be utilized in order to resolve issues between Pakistan and India.”

Former Secretary Petroleum Dr. Gulfaraz said: “It is first time in history that China, Russia and the United States are investing in the energy sector of Pakistan. China is investing huge amounts in several sectors of Pakistan, including infrastructure development. Now, Russia is also increasing its investment in Pakistan and Moscow has signed a gas pipeline project with Pakistan. Present government is pursuing the policy of development by launching several energy projects in the country. Pakistan and India both should play their role for the maintenance of peace in the region.” 

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