By Arul Louis
United Nations, Aug 14 (IANS) While stressing direct dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad, Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, whose country is the President of the UN Security Council, said on Tuesday that his ambassador will likely hold consultations on a request from Pakistan to take up the Kashmir issue.
Czaputowicz told reporters, "We are in favour of dialogue between Pakistan and India to sort out the differences."
"Today in the morning I was informed that the Security Council received the letter from the Ambassador of Pakistan. I think that the Security Council will discuss the issue and (take a) proper decision on how to proceed," he said.
Poland's Permanent Representative Joanna Wronecka "will probably start consultations" about the request with other Council members, he added.
Pakistan had asked the Council to hold a briefing on the Kashmir issue.
Czaputowicz said that he had had phone conversations with India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
He said, "We expressed concern over the current tension between India and Pakistan resulting from the proposed change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Poland believes that the dispute can only be resolved by peaceful means."
"As a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Poland stands ready to engage in preventing actions affecting the security situation," he said, adding, "We hope that both countries can work out the differences and find a beneficial solution. The strained relations between India and Pakistan negatively affect the South Asia region and may lead to serious political and economic consequences."
Czaputowicz said Poland fully supported the stand of the European Union (EU) and the statement issued by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini.
The EU statement reaffirmed its support for a bilateral resolution of the dispute between India and Pakistan.
An EU statement issued after she had spoken on Thursday with Jaishankar and Qureshi said, "The European Union supports a bilateral political solution between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, which remains the only way to solve a long-lasting dispute that causes instability and insecurity in the region."
It added, "In both calls, she underlined the importance of avoiding an escalation of tensions in Kashmir and in the region. To this end, dialogue between India and Pakistan through diplomatic channels is crucial."
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Islamabad, Dec 9 (IANS) Russian energy major Gazprom is set to initiate feasibility study in the first quarter of 2020 for laying an undersea pipeline, beginning from the Persian Gulf and extending to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and ultimately ending in China, after touching Myanmar and Thailand.
The pipeline will pass through the shallow waters of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and each of the countries will get gas from the pipeline, The News quoted a senior Petroleum Ministry official as saying.
The total cost of the undersea pipeline will be around $20-25 billion when it is extended to China.
The most important aspect of the project is that every country will provide transit fee to Pakistan, which will run into billions of dollars. Pakistan will be getting transit fee from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and China.
Pakistan's Navy will provide security for the pipeline.
Pakistan and India have already signed MoUs and agreements with Russia separately for the project under which both countries would get gas from the undersea pipeline through the spur pipelines.
According to the official, Pakistan will get up to 1 billion cubic feet per day gas from the undersea pipeline.
More importantly, a Russia-Pakistan economic corridor will also be set up and Russia will invest in fiber optic link, roads and power projects as ancillary facilities.
Russia is already engaged with Pakistan on the North South Gas Pipeline, which will cost $2-2.5 billion. However, Gazprom has also shown interest in building gas storages in Pakistan with investment of $400-500 million, the report said.
Russia is also interested in investing in exploration and production activities in Pakistan, and to this effect Gazprom is currently engaged with the top management of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), a Pakistani multinational oil and gas company.
The official said Pakistan and India will share data with the Russian company about the demand for gas with future projections of the next decade.
Based on data from the two countries, Gazprom will start the feasibility in the first three months of 2020, and the whole process from sharing the data to completion of feasibility report will be finished in one year's time. If the project is found feasible, the pipeline will be laid undersea in 3-4 years.