close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
O
ONLINE
November 2, 2019

ISGS, Ministry of energy failed to pursue G2G agreement

Islamabad

O
ONLINE
November 2, 2019

Islamabad: The Inter State Gas System (Pvt.) Limited (ISGS) and Ministry of Energy are not observing G2G agreement in true letter and spirit as officials were allegedly preferring their personal vested interest to national interests and making dent in foreign relations of Pakistan and Russia.

Four years ago, Russia and Pakistan signed a G2G agreement as Russia agreed to provide 85 per cent financing ($2billion) to build North Gas Pipeline project from Karachi to Lahore.

Sources started that performance of people at the helm of affairs in Ministry of Energy as well as Inter State Gas System (Pvt.) Limited (ISGS) is in question who apparently failed to take decision over $2 billion North-South gas pipeline project implementation under the pretext of so-called sanction of USA in the matter.

Russian government nominated company TMK is on of the world’s leading producers of tubular products for the oil and gas industry has approached PM Imran Khan and expressed concern over bureaucratic delays to which premier issued direction to petroleum division to resolve the issue of sanction free project company structure within three weeks.

The inner sources have revealed that Ministry of energy was allegedly claimed that restrictions on TMK Company, however truth was that no restrictions on TMK company, which operates all over the world including the United States and Europe. TMK shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange as well as on Russia’s MICEX-RTS trading floor. Additionally company’s Eurobonds are traded currently with premium on several European stock exchanges and TMK is regularly reviewed by the most conservative rating agencies S&P Global and Moodies with ‘STABLE’ long-term outlook.

So called ‘Sanction Watch List’ of United States (section 241 of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (Pub. L. 115-44), which is against the facts and circumstances as no such ‘watch list’ of US exists that amounts to attract sanctions. Even the United States Department of Treasury in unequivocal terms has categorically clarified that this list is not a ‘sanction watch list’ rather a report to Congress special Committee containing names of important Russians governmental officials and oligarchs. To declare TMK on ‘watch list’ that in the presence of clarification, issued by the United States Department of Treasury, is uncalled for an effort to sabotage the bilateral relationship of two countries and USD 2 Billion investment in Pakistan by Russia. Ministry was totally ignorant about this fact.

Moreover, ministry of petroleum can’t give the approval of G2G as ministry of law has authority to give approval of G2G. Sources further stated that wrong information was given to PM as well regarding this project. It noted that letter written to Russian government was fabricated as it bypassed ministry of law and that act was totally unlawful. Such incompetence in the conduct of business correspondence between the two countries is surprising as well as periodically surfacing from the Pakistani side details of correspondence through closed diplomatic channels.

A joint meeting of the officials of petroleum division of GoP and Russian Federation was convened on July 15-17, 2019 in Dunai, UAE where a number of officials of Ministry of Petroleum and ISGS including Sher Afghan Khan, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Energy, Mobin Saulat, M.D ISGS, Naeem, CLA and one Mr. Yousaf Asif (Whose official position was unknown to Russian delegation participated).

It was revealed in documental proofs that Russian government is amazed and exasperated the way Pakistani officials acted and has informally complained to the Prime Minister Imran Khan about the behavior of the Pakistani side that violated official agreed format of the meeting.

It noted in the documents that there was an unauthorized Mr. Yousaf Asif as of part of the Pakistani delegation who was dictating and leading the negotiations terms while pressing the ISGS upon having Russian owned company of their choice namely ‘ETK’ as the same was proposed previously by ISGS and Ministry of Petroleum in August 2016.

It was worth mentioned here that ETK is a private company, owned by a private individual and particularly has no support of Russian government so Russia has stressed that nomination of alternate company ETK or any nomination by the Pakistani delegation is violation of G2G agreement as it was the sole discretion of Russian government to nominate any company for implementation of the project. Remains unclear who benefits from falsifying the legal aspects of the reached G2G agreements.

The implementation of the North-South gas pipeline project has been severely impacted by the Pakistani Ministry of Energy officials. Russian companies are successfully operating around the world, implementing the largest international projects in many countries, including the US and the EU. The voluntary exclusion of Pakistan from among successful countries interacting with Russia looks rather strange, moreover threatening other delicate aspects of cooperation between Moscow and Islamabad.