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Discussions start today in Islamabad between teams from China and Pakistan about construction of a gas pipeline from Gwadar to western China.

A report by the Economic Times said the parties are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding for the gas pipeline project that will also include road and rail links.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.5 billion.

Iran has agreed to finance $500 million towards the project but Pakistan is looking to increase the amount.

The U.S. is pressing Pakistan to shelve the pipeline and focus instead on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

Once the Gwadar-to-China pipeline is complete, Pakistan expects to export 750 million cubic feet of gas per day with an option to increase the amount to a billion cubic feet per day.

Source: Economic Times