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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Pak-Iran gas pipeline project will be completed, says Khawaja Asif amid US sanctions alert

Defence minister say it doesn't matter if anyone is hurt by Iranian president's visit

By Web Desk
April 25, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Despite the United States' repeated "sanction" warnings, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said hopes that the hurdles in the execution of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project will be removed and it will be completed.

Asif, in conversation with Geo News, urged regional stakeholders to unite on a common platform for the protection of their interests following the turmoil and unrest across countries in the region and the heightened intervention of powerful European and Western nations through their proxies in the context of Israel.

In this regard, the minister also termed the Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi's "successful" Pakistan visit a "great development".

The Iranian president's visit was a landmark moment, especially with regard to the pipeline project, which has remained stalled in the wake of geopolitical issues and international sanctions.

The minister's statement comes at a significant time when the United States has, on multiple occasions over this week, hinted towards the "potential risk of sanctions" in light of the business deals — particularly the execution of the gas pipeline project — between Iran and Pakistan following President Raisi's crucial visit.

The senior cabinet member lamented the hypocritical and discriminatory attitude as well as the lack of principles of Western nations with respect to the acts committed by Israel in comparison to other countries around the world.

Asif underscored that terrorism is a common problem for Iran and Pakistan, and needs to be controlled.

The federal minister said both the brotherly countries will fight terrorism together. It does not matter if anyone is hurt by the visit of the Iranian president, he added.

He maintained that Pakistan and Iran have a long history of relations and while the Iranian president wanted to conduct a large meeting during his visit, the government could not make arrangements due to security concerns.

The statements by the minister also hold importance in the context of the 28-point joint statement issued by the Foreign Office a day earlier, which outlined the agreement between Iran and Pakistan on energy including trade in electricity, power transmission lines and the pipeline project.

The US, however, advised against business deals with Iran, asking to remain aware of the potential risk of sanctions.