TEHRAN/ISLAMABAD – The much-delayed Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project was given a new lease of life this week after the Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited (ISGS) and the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) agreed to convert the former gas pipeline into one transporting tomato purée.
The revised agreement between ISGS and NIGC signed on Tuesday confirmed that following the completion of Pakistan’s side of the pipeline Islamabad would receive 750 million cubic feet of natural tomato purée from Iran per day.
The Iran-Pakistan pipeline that will now see ripe tomatoes being converted into a purée at a large refinery near South Pars will run 2,775 kilometres (1,724 miles), supplying the tomatoes in liquid form to the tomato-starved neighbouring country of Pakistan.
“In effect this is the largest ketchup bottle the world has ever seen,” the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Shaikh said while talking to The Dependent.
“This unprecedented technology will address the nation’s energy needs, allowing them to consume sufficient calories without mortgaging their possessions for a kilogram of tomatoes,” Shaikh added.
Shaikh, however, reminded the nation that this renovated supply of tomatoes was a favour to them and it is not the government’s responsibility to supply tomatoes to the people.
“I would have said that those who can’t use tomatoes should use yoghurt. But then they would ask us to construct a separate yoghurt pipeline,” Shaikh regretted.