Think twice on gas pipeline with Iran, US to Pak
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Last Updated: Friday, March 02, 2012, 15:05
Washington: The United States has asked Pakistan to "think twice" on its plans to go ahead with construction of a gas pipeline from Iran, cautioning Islamabad that Tehran is an "unreliable" partner.

The American statement came a day after the Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar refused to tow the US line on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and said that Islamabad would go ahead with the project.

In fact, the two countries appear to be headed towards confrontation on this contentious issue. On Wednesday, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said there would be "dangerous implications" for Pakistan if it went ahead with the gas pipeline project, which in Islamabad was seen as nothing but a strong warning coming from the Obama Administration.

"I don't think what the Secretary said was appreciably different than what we've been saying for weeks and weeks publicly, privately, if not months on this subject. You know, this is something that we don't think is a good idea. And the Secretary made that absolutely clear," Nuland told reporters when asked about the exchange of statements between the leaders of the two countries yesterday.

"We would also note that, you know, Iran is making all kinds of offers to all kinds of countries, and they often don't live up to their promises.

"And we know that Pakistan has energy needs, and we are working with Pakistan on those energy needs. And we would just encourage them to think twice about aligning themselves with an unreliable partner," Nuland said.

Echoing Clinton, the US official said that given the international sanctions against Iran, Pakistan would face the burnt of it, if it decided to go ahead with the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

"You know that we have a variety of sanctions on the books that we would not want to see kick in, in this instance, which is, you know, among the reasons why we think this is a bad idea and hope it doesn't go forward," Nuland said in response to a question.


First Published: Friday, March 02, 2012, 15:05

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