Pakistan Vows to Press Ahead With Iran Pipeline Deal

Asif Ali Zardari the President of Pakistan has vowed to press ahead with the proposed gas pipeline project with Iran despite American warning of sanctions against Iran saying that Islamabad’s relations with Tehran won’t be undermined by any international pressure.

Asif Ali Zardari made the comments alongside Iranian President Mahmood Ahmedinejad who is facing severe pressure from the West over the country’s Nuclear Weapons Program.

Pakistan is facing a chronic energy shortage, and the energy crisis has caused anger amongst the public, the proposed gas pipeline deal with will help meeting the country’s natural gas requirements, at present gas load shedding is common throughout the country and industry has suffered massively due to it.

But the United States wants Islamabad to shelf the gas pipeline project because it would undercut International pressure to isolate Iran over the nuclear program. The issue is sure to raise the already high temperature between Islamabad and Washington.

When President Asif Ali Zardari was asked about the opposition to the pipeline project, he said:

“Pakistan is lobbying the world, and our point of view is being accepted. Our bilateral relationships cannot be undermined by any international pressure of any kind.”

The pipeline project was first proposed in the early 1990s, but has been plagued by delays ever since.

Pakistan and Iran finalized the gas deal last year. Under the contract, Iran will export 760 million cubic feet of gas per day to Pakistan through a new pipeline beginning in 2014. The construction of the pipeline is estimated to cost some $7 billion.

Article publié pour la première fois le 18/02/2012

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