Think twice on gas pipeline with Iran, US to Pak

Last Updated: Friday, March 2, 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.

PTI



First Published: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 15:05

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