A Pakistani energy expert underscored the necessity for the rapid completion of a gas pipeline project which is due to take Iran\'s rich gas reserves to the South Asian nation. “Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project is a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy and its future,” Gulfaraz Ahmed said. “It is highly strategic for Pakistan to import natural gas as soon as possible in a bid to cut down the cost of power generation …,” he added. Iran and Pakistan in March officially inaugurated the construction phase of the gas pipeline. The project kicked off in a ceremony attended by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari at the two countries\' shared border region in Iran\'s Southeastern city of Chabahar. The 2700-kilometer long pipeline was to supply gas for Pakistan and India which are suffering a lack of energy sources, but India has evaded talks. In 2011, Iran and Pakistan declared they would finalize the agreement bilaterally if India continued to be absent in the meeting. According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Iran\'s Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100 km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Baluchistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to the project.