Aamir Shafaat Khan
and Iran are setting up a joint venture refinery near Karachi,
at Hub in Balochistan. An agreement in this regard is to
be signed at the end of this month when Iranian President
Mohammad Khatami visits Pakistan, authoritative sources
told Dawn on Wednesday.
draft of the proposed agreement has been reportedly prepared
by the petroleum and natural resources ministry, which
Pakistan's foreign ministry has dispatched to Tehran seeking
Iranian foreign ministry's prior concurrence before being
signed in presence of the top leaders of the two countries.
visit will be a milestone in the brotherly relations of
the two countries after an agreement by the two presidents
project, which is now considered as economically viable,
has been held in abeyance since 1998 due to lack of political
will. However, work on the project can now be taken up
at faster pace.
the visit of Khatami, a delegation of National Iranian
Oil Company (NIOC) was scheduled to arrive in Pakistan
in the last week of November to review the current status
of the refinery project with reference to the oil sector
deregulation and tariff protection, in particular. The
delegation could not come to Pakistan owing to Ramazan.
of the NIOC and Pakistan's petroleum ministry had already
held at least four meetings in Pakistan and Tehran to discuss