Pakistan’s foreign minister says her country will not give in to foreign pressure from the United States which aims to make Islamabad give up Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.
Addressing a student gathering at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Hina Rabbani Khar emphasized that Islamabad will not give in to US pressures to mothball the project and will finish the huge pipeline project at any cost, the Urdu-speaking Nawa-e Waqt
newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, another Pakistani newspaper, The Express
, quoted Rabbani Khar as saying that the completion of the IP pipeline project is in line with Islamabad’s national interests.
She added that Pakistan is bent on pursuing its independent policies at international level and will finish the IP pipeline project “at any cost.”
She also slammed repeated attacks by the US assassination drones on Pakistan’s tribal regions, saying that such attacks will certainly affect Islamabad’s relations with Washington.
Energy-hungry Pakistan is willing to increase its fuel imports from various sources, including Iran, to reduce power shortage that has crippled the country’s industry and shaved percentage points off its GDP growth.
Washington has frequently indicated its resentment at the IP gas pipeline project. An article published in the International Herald Tribune
on January 25, said Washington is trying to lure Islamabad away from the project by offering cheaper gas to the country.
The multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline aims to export a daily amount of 21.5 million cubic meters (or 7.8 billion cubic meters per year) of the Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.
The maximum daily gas transfer capacity of the 56-inch pipeline which runs over 900 km of Iran's soil from Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province to the city of Iranshahr in Sistan and Baluchestan Province has been estimated at 110 million cubic meters.