An Iranian-Pakistani consortium will start work next week on a much delayed $7.5 billion gas pipeline from Pakistan to Iran that has aroused strong US opposition, Pakistani officials said on Friday.
The date was announced after Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari held talks in Tehran with Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene i, who urged Islamabad to press ahead with the project.
The ceremony will be held at Gabd zero point on the border from where the Pakistan section of the gas pipeline starts. It would mark the start of work by an Iranian-Pakistani consortium on the 780-kilometre (485-mile) pipeline earmarked on the Pakistani side of the border , which is said to cost some $1.5 billion.
The pipeline issue is likely to bring Pakistan-US ties under renewed stress as Washington has been staunchly opposing the project.