Pakistan not bound by US sanctions on Iran: Gilani
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 18:38
  
Islamabad: Pakistan is not bound by US sanctions imposed on Iran and would only abide by the UN while implementing a multi-million dollar gas deal with Tehran, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday.

His comments came in response to criticism in some political quarters following indications that Pakistan might back out from the USD 7.5 billion gas pipeline deal if it comes under the ambit of US sanctions.

"As far as the US is concerned, we are not bound to implement (any sanctions imposed by America).

"But if the United Nations will act (against Iran), we will examine (such a move) according to international laws," Gilani said while addressing a lunch he hosted for parliamentarians.

Gilani said his remarks were aimed at clarifying media reports based on comments he had made at Garhi Khuda Baksh yesterday about the impact of possible US sanctions on the over USD 7.5-billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

The premier had been quoted by the media as saying that the country will abide by any sanctions imposed by the US on Iran.

"If the US imposes sanctions, they will have international implications and Pakistan, as a member of the international community, will follow them," Gilani had been quoted as saying yesterday.

Gilani issued the clarification after his earlier comments were criticised by some sections of the political leadership.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke had said on Sunday that he had warned Islamabad against signing a deal with Tehran on the gas pipeline as the US is preparing sanctions that could affect the project.

Holbrooke told American reporters that Pakistan should not "over-commit" itself to the project till the "comprehensive" sanctions are finalised.

After Holbrooke's comments were reported, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that Pakistan would not violate international law but hoped the deal, crucial to its energy needs, would not come under the ambit of fresh sanctions on Tehran.

He said the pipeline project should remain intact as it is in the best interests of Pakistan.

Iran and Pakistan recently signed an export deal that commits Tehran to selling natural gas to Islamabad from 2014.

Iran has built 907 km of the pipeline that will carry natural gas from its South Pars field.

The pipeline was originally planned to connect Iran, Pakistan and India, though the latter is yet to commit to the project.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 18:38


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