ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources will approach China to fund the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline, an official said, provided approvals from the economic and development division. A ministry official said as per the procedure the project needed to be approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) and Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC). The official stated that after lifting of international sanctions on Iran, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was of the view that by and large, most of the sanctions but a few in specific cases had been withdrawn. “Whereas, the remaining restrictions pertained mainly to nuclear and arms related transactions,” he added. He said that following the CDWP and ECNEC’s nod, the ministry would approach China through the Economic Affairs Division for financing the project and Economic Coordination Committee for the constitution of a Price Negotiation Committee to recommend acceptance of the price proposal from China Petroleum Pipeline – the project executing company. “Given the loss of time, the IP project timelines need to be extended. Pakistan is already working on the project under the alternative strategy,” he said. He hoped that Pakistan’s proposal to amend the Gas Sale Purchase Agreement would be accepted by Iran and its details could be sorted out by the Experts Group. The official said Iran had invited Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to visit Tehran to discuss the way forward on the project.