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US openly opposes Pak-Iran gas pipeline project
 


February 28, 2013 - Updated 855 PKT
From Web Edition
 
 



WASHINGTON: In its latest opposition of Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, the US State Department on Wednesday said it is in Pakistan’s interest to avoid any activity that can hit it with sanctions.

 

The State Department said that it was providing Pakistan with alternatives that would avoid any sanctions violation.

 

"We recognise that Pakistan has significant energy requirements but we really think there are other long-term solutions to Pakistan's energy needs," said deputy acting spokesman Patrick Ventrell.

 

"And so we've been assisting as a government to contribute to the alleviation of the energy crisis in Pakistan," he said.

 

"It's in their best interests to avoid any sanctionable activity, and we think that we provide and are providing ... a better way to meet their energy needs in some of the assistance we're providing."

 

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday urged the visiting Pakistani president to press ahead with a much-delayed $7.5 billion gas pipeline project despite US opposition.

 

"The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is an important example of Tehran-Islamabad cooperation, and despite hostilities towards the expansion of ties we must overcome this opposition decisively," Khamenei told Asif Ali Zardari, his office reported.

 

The gas pipeline project is strongly opposed by Tehran's archfoe Washington.

 

"Accessing safe energy source is the first priority for any country including Pakistan. In this region, the Islamic republic is the only nation that has safe energy resources and we are ready to provide Pakistan its energy needs," the all-powerful Khamenei said.

 

Zardari, who also met with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was quoted by the leader's office as saying: "We deeply believe in boosting bilateral ties.

 

"The international and regional players have tried in vain to prevent expansion of Iran-Pakistan ties but the people have learnt how to act against the enemy of Islam."

 

The pipeline project has run into repeated problems, including Pakistan's difficulty in finding funds and opposition to the project from Washington, which has slapped Iran with a raft of sanctions over its nuclear activities.

 

In 2010, Iran and Pakistan agreed that Tehran would supply between 750 million cubic feet (21 million cubic metres) and one billion cubic feet per day of natural gas by mid-2015.

 

Islamabad has said it will pursue the project regardless of US pressure, saying the gas is needed to help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis that has led to debilitating blackouts and suffocated industry.

 

Iran has almost completed the pipeline work in its territory, but Pakistan has not yet started construction of 780 kilometers (490 miles) of the pipeline on its side, which is said to cost some $1.5 billion.

 

Sanctions-hit Iran finally agreed to finance one third of the costs of laying the pipeline through Pakistani territory to Nawabshah, north of Karachi, with the work to be carried out by an Iranian company.

 

Pakistani officials in mid-December said Iran had promised a $500 million loan and that Islamabad would meet the rest of the cost.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reader Comments
the time is now to change,we must consider on Gawar to china trade ties. America is not super power anymore whole world is looking china's almost best policies.peace keeping and trustible nation beloved china we love you...

Nazakat khan
Saudi Arabia
THE THIEVES RULER IN PAKISTAN ALWAYS LOOK AFTER THEIR OWN INTEREST THAN THE INTEREST OF COUNTRY, THAT IS WHY THIS PROJECT WHICH MUST HAVE BEEN COMPLETED 20 YEARS AGO, IS STILL HANGING WHILE THE COUNTRY IS DYING. DID USA TOOK PERMISSION FROM PAKISTAN BEFORE PROVIDING NUCLEAR PLANTS & ASSISTANCE TO INDIA ? THEN WHY OUR RULER ARE TREMBLING WITH USA, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL THIEVES.

Abdullah
Pakistan
Pakistan as a Sovereign nation has all the rights to do what is best for Pakistan. Pakistan needs are paramount then any other country on the face of earth. IF USA is so concerned about Iran gas line. then USA not only supply Pakistan all the energy needed free of cost and sign civil nuclear deal same as it did with India. USA has used Pakistan for its purpose since 1947. It is a time for Pakistan to part its way from the path of USA polices.

Abid
Canada
Buck-up Pakistan and Iran, USA would never want a prosper and stable Pakistan. Go ahead with the project and don't be afraid of US' jackal-threats of sanctions.

Naveed Malik
Pakistan
Pakistan should move on to boost trade with other countries especially the nearby ones,with India being an exception, and try to be less dependent on the outside world,try to make more necessities of everyday use in Pakistan rather than importing it from outside more costly because its cost effective and will create more jobs in Pakistan. Off course, it can't happen overnight but we have to start it from somewhere. LONG LIVE PAKISTAN!!!!!

OMER
United Kingdom
It is a very important step towards long term prosperity in Pakistan. It will also help in bringing two Islamic Nations closer. We have severe energy crises. Why USA wants to ban this project when it has nothing to do with Politics?

Yasir Ali
Pakistan
bravo pakistan, the whole nation is with you. best of luck.

sajid
Pakistan
Americans are nuts even getting defeated in Iraq and now in Afghanistan still wants to keep his tone in the region high.New secretary of defence is sensible.

syed baqar ahsan
Pakistan
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