QUETTA:  Oman has agreed to release a grant of $44 million it had announced 10 years ago for launching development projects in Balochistan, including the construction of an international airport in Gwadar.

Official sources told on Saturday that Oman`s Ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad Saeed Allwati during a meeting with Chief Minister Aslam Raisani in Islamabad informed him that Muscat had agreed to release the grant.

Mr Allwati said he would visit Balochistan in the next few days for laying the foundation stone of some projects.

The sources said $27.5 million would be spent on the construction of four roads in Gwadar, setting up of a 50-bed hospital in Pasni, a project envisaging water supply from Shadi Kur to Pasni and two 33kv transmission lines in Gwadar that would supply electricity to Peshikan and Kapar.

An amount of $16.5 million will be spent on the Gwadar airport project.

Mr Raisani informed the ambassador that tenders for various projects had already been awarded to contractors.

During his recent visit to Muscat Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had discussed the matter with the Omani leaders who assured him that a decision regarding the grant would be taken `very soon`.

Mr Raisani, who accompanied the prime minister, had informed the Oman leaders that forces opposed to development in Balochistan were using the delay in the release of grant against his government. Gas pipeline repaired

: Gas supply to Quetta and other parts of Balochistan was restored on Saturday night, after remaining suspended for three days.

A spokesman for the Sui Southern Gas Company said that repair work on the pipeline that had been damaged in a blast had been completed and gas supply had been restored.

Meanwhile, security personnel foiled an attempt to blow up another gas pipeline in Dera Allahyar by defusing an explosive device planted under it.

A police official said that the device contained five kilograms of explosive material.