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Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: Pakistan poised to become member of SCO energy club

As energy politics is gaining momentum across the world, Pakistan is going to become a member of the energy club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), an initiative taken by Russia for providing support to energy projects in different countries including Pakistan.

Sources told The Express Tribune that a Pakistani delegation recently attended a meeting of the SCO in Moscow that formed the energy club. Under this forum, Pakistan is expected to get financing for gas import projects like the Iran-Pakistan pipeline, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline and LNG supplies to overcome the energy crisis.

According to sources, all member countries of the energy club would give their inputs, which would be picked by donor nations for financial support.

SCO is an inter-governmental organisation founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 by six countries – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have been accorded observer status.

India, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey are aspiring for full membership of the SCO. Both China and Russia have endorsed this status for India and Pakistan.

At present, gas politics is gaining pace across the world with Russia and United States being major competitors. After discovery of shale gas, the US is expected to start exporting LNG, so many countries are in the race to capture the Pakistan market, which is facing acute energy shortages.

“The establishment of the energy club is being actively backed by Russia and China, which could deal a blow to the US,” a source commented and said foreign policies were being used to enter the markets of different countries.

Sources said the US was influencing Pakistan by forcing it to shelve the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project and rather go for expensive LNG imports from Qatar.

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