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Mr Mehmet Öğütçü, Special Envoy of the Secretary General, undertakes a mission to Islamabad, Pakistan

The Special Envoy of the Secretary General, Mr Mehmet Öğütçü, had a series of meetings in Islamabad on 2 September to discuss the question of ratification of the Energy Charter Treaty by Pakistan.

Pakistan has been an Observer to the Energy Charter Conference since signing the Energy Charter in 2005. The Energy Charter Secretariat and the Government of Pakistan co-operated in the preparation of the Accession Reports in 2006. In November 2006, the Energy Charter Conference approved those Accession Reports and invited the Government of Pakistan to accede to the Energy Charter Treaty and Related Documents. Since then the process has been under consideration by the authorities of Pakistan.

Mr. Öğütçü’s visit to Pakistan comes two months after a new government came to office. Energy shortages, insufficient investment flows, controversial cross-border projects, and substantial energy waste are among the prime national concerns. This is the context in which Mr. Öğütçü argued for ratification of the Energy Charter Treaty. There was recognition on the part of Pakistani officials that Pakistan needs to engage more actively and constructively with the international energy community than was the case up to now. Mr. Öğütçü presented the Energy Charter as an ideal platform for such engagement and as a means of resolving some of the pressing energy challenges in Pakistan. Mr. Öğütçü placed particular emphasis on the potential for Pakistan of the Energy Charter in the context of the Turkmenistan-Pakistan-Afghanistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

A meeting was held with Federal Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Mr. Shahid Khagan Abbasi, and his Deputy Minister, Mr. Abid Saeed.

A further meeting was held with the Additional Foreign Secretary, Ms. Ayesha Fiyaz and the Director in charge of energy matters Mr. Shahbaz Hussain.

The series of meetings were actively supported by the Embassy of Turkey, the Energy Charter Liaison Embassy in Islamabad. Ambassador Babur Hizlan personally attended all the meetings and supported the case of Pakistan’s early accession to the Treaty.