Pakistan Determined to Complete
Gas Project with Iran
Should millions of Pakistanis wait in agony for this long duration, as a tribute to America's concerns and interests?
Translated By Fauzia Iqbal
23 February 2013
Edited by Daye Lee
Pakistan - Nawai-Waqt - Original Article (Urdu)
Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, has said that the U.S. is working together with Pakistan on the energy crisis, and that it will be better for Pakistan to not engage in any binding contracts with Iran. Meanwhile, Pakistan, rejecting U.S. reservations on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, has announced it will remain committed to this project. During his weekly press briefing, Muazzam Khan, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Pakistan is facing a severe energy crisis and is determined to complete the gas pipeline project with Iran to resolve this deficiency.
The energy crisis in Pakistan is getting worse with each passing day. Iran has made repeated offers to Pakistan for support in all three areas — gas, electricity and oil — but because of pressure from the U.S., Pakistan has not yet taken advantage of these offers in any substantial way. Regarding the gas contract with Iran, the U.S. has threatened Pakistan with "dire consequences." Pakistan's industry has been rendered helpless because of the shortage of electricity and gas. Three and a half million cars are immobile four days a week because of restrictions on compressed natural gas. In addition to this are the problems being faced by millions of domestic users. To meet energy needs, gas can be imported from Iran immediately, but this solution is being opposed by America.
America is providing assistance in the production of electricity, but there is no substitute for gas. Procurement of gas from Turkmenistan has been suggested. Installing the 6,000 kilometer-long pipeline will take six years. Should millions of Pakistanis wait in agony for this long duration, as a tribute to America's concerns and interests? America should be sensitive to the compelling circumstances facing the Pakistani government and people. This should not be a matter of conflict between Pakistan and the U.S. Since Pakistan appears resolutely in favor of affirming the gas agreement with Iran, work on the project should start soon and the issue should not remain confined to mere rhetoric.
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