Islamabad [Pakistan], May 11 (ANI): The Shehbaz Sharif government has discontinued energy talks with Russia involving a deal to buy crude at discounted rates, Pakistan’s former energy minister Hammad Azhar has claimed.
Hammad made these claims on Tuesday in response to the newly appointed Pakistan Power Minister Khurram Dastgir’s comments that there were no negotiations involving the purchase of oil and gas from Russia.
Dastgir said there was no paper/evidence available with the quarters concerned, The News International newspaper reported.
However, this runs contrary to claims made by Hammad that Islamabad has shelved the PakStream pipeline agreement.
The former federal minister, who served under the Imran Khan government, said the PTI government had been “intensely engaged with Russian Energy Ministry for the supply of discounted crude oil”, however, those negotiations have been halted now.
“Plus, PakStream pipeline agreement was ready for signing with Russian counterparts with all paperwork done. But the new government is dragging its feet on it,” he added.
According to Hammad, Imran Khan’s government had been in discussions with Russia in March to purchase LNG under a long-term agreement.
But after the Shehbaz Sharif government arrived in April, those discussions were suspended by the new government.
“New power minister says there is no evidence of communication with Russia over the purchase of discounted oil and gas. Like the story of 27 out of order power plants, this also is a lie. Imran Khan as PM chaired two meetings on the subject and we were aiming for purchasing the first cargoes in April. Our ambassador in Moscow was tasked and was actively in touch with the Russian officials regarding this issue,” he added. (ANI)