Pakistan could face damaging consequences if it opts for IP gas pipeline: Clinton

Published: February 29, 2012

US warns Pakistan over Iran pipeline. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

WASHINGTON: The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that America has made it clear to Pakistan that if it goes ahead with the proposed Iran-Pakistan pipeline, it could face consequences as underlined in the Iran Sanctions Act.

Addressing the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations in Washington, Secretary Clinton said that they supported the alternative of a pipeline via Turkmenistan.

Clinton’s remarks were in response to a Congressman Rep. Lewis asking the US Secretary of State why the budget request for the State Department included a $1 billion request to help Pakistan address its energy problems. Secretary Clinton said that the Turkmenistan pipeline was a better alternative, predictable and will avoid business with Iran.

She added that embarking on the construction of a Pak-Iran pipeline is in violation of the Iran Sanctions Act. She said, “We all know what the consequences of that law are.” The US Secretary of State added that this move would be particularly damaging for Pakistan because the country’s economy is already shaky, and would further undermine Pakistan’s economic status.

“We have been very clear in pointing out the consequences of building this pipeline.”

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Reader Comments (76)

  • ProudPakistani
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Oho…& Miss Clinton may I ask who u r to put sanctions on Pakistan??
    Better mind ur own business…& respect other’s sovereignty..

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  • Rahim
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:25PM

    What other consequences would we suffer Mrs Clinton? we are buying energy not Guns.
    And why should we listen to you, you put us in this mess, we are suffering because of you, thank you. I just hope our corrupt politicians show some dignity.

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:26PM

    Gas pipe line or no line, either way Pakistan is facing problems. Best will be to have the Pipe Line. Bite the bullet this time, else no one will take Pakistan seriously.

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  • Parvez
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:31PM

    Let’s don’t under estimate this threat. Going through with the pipeline will be damaging to us.

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  • M
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:32PM

    @ProudPakistani:
    As long as you rely on US aid, it is your master plain & simple and is in a position to do whatever it pleases.

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  • Adeel759
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:33PM

    @ProudPakistani. Go to PAF official website and look at their timeline, they declared 1990-2000 “Lost Decade” why? because Proud pakistani Was under U.S. sanctions during that period. Fake people with fake prides.

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  • Feb 29, 2012 - 11:35PM

    Order is order!

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  • jerseybb
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:43PM

    Are not we already facing damaging consequences with no energy?

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  • Bhindian
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:44PM

    I thought we were friends? hahaha

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  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:47PM

    This is incredible and shows what US thinks of us, I wont be surprised that this government
    will comply.

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  • Cautious
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:49PM

    American’s should save the Billion — until Pakistan takes control of it’s territory (highly unlikely) any pipeline is just a convenient target for a terrorist. In short – no gas is going to flow in a regular/sustainable basis so why pay a Billion just to annoy Iran – let Iran fund their pipeline only to watch in frustration as Pakistan spends all it’s time/money patching the numerous holes.

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  • antanu g
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:50PM

    ranting of a losing power….iran-pakistan pipeline project must have hurt alter ego of US.

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  • Shakky
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:50PM

    One question which never appears to come up in Pakistani circles in this debate – can Iran be trusted? The Iranian government is essentially trying to bribe Pakistan into defying international sanctions. Is Pakistan ready to damage its relations with the international community on the strength of assurances from Iran? Dealing with Iran is like flirting with the devil – you always get more than you bargained for and its usually not to your liking.

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  • usman
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Bravado!

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  • Anjum
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:53PM

    complete energy supply from Iran plus exploitation of own coal and gas fields. Own food enough for Iran and pak. Patriotic people fighting to the end. defence capability. Great minds, great culture, music, food taste, entertainment … YES, YOU CAN PAK :) Zindabad

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  • gp65
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:56PM

    @ProudPakistani: “Oho…& Miss Clinton may I ask who u r to put sanctions on Pakistan??
    Better mind ur own business…& respect other’s sovereignty.”

    These are not UN sanctions but US and European sanctions against Iran. US government can and will take commercial actions against countries that violate sanctions that US is supporting. In other words they may penalize your exports or not let you use their banks for such transactions or not do business with Pakistani banks involved in transactions with Iran.

    This does not mean Pakistan should necessary do what US asks. It just means it should be ready to pay the price. India for example has said it will continue to buy oil from Iran despite the sanctions against it by US. India can take that independent stand but it has to pay the price. Same goes for Pakistan.

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  • Parvez
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:03AM

    @Parvez:
    Did I say that ???

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  • Jadugar
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:04AM

    @shakky: Well I guess a bribe is better then a Hellfire from the drones,

    @cautious: I guess the billions of of US dollars could help their partners in war EU, They will soon need it more then we would.

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  • Texan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:08AM

    Lets take a chance this time. Is the worse going to be any worse than it already is?
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  • shaheen malik
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:10AM

    we should tell her to get lost, that is if anyone in Pakistan has any guts. Recommend

  • Umar
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:13AM

    Consequences? Oh shias have started facing music all around Pakistan via US agents.

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  • Ali Rafiq
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:15AM

    Yes oh Master!

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  • LOC
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:18AM

    I think we have nothing to loose!! fighting USA war for more than a decade, lost thousand of our soldiers and civilian. Proud Pakistanis should take a stand at least once in their life time.. i go with Gillani… “WE WILL MAKE THIS PIPELINE “.

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  • Umer
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:23AM

    @Shakky:
    hain???? are you one of those who are against Iran????Just becoz they are Shias? Nothing makes sense what you just said. Iran is the only country who can help us. And they have taken a stand against all super powers and now is the time to support then unlike saudia… None of the US or Europe or anyone is helping us in anything.

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 12:25AM

    No comments.

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  • Mumbai Kid
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:36AM

    I kind of dislike this arrogance from USA. If the west wants to put sanctions on Iran it is their will, why would it push other nations to do the same. Nations have different levels of relationship with each other. This is every sense is bullying. I seriously wish a change in world order when bunch of insecure idiots do not dictate what others should do.

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  • the patriot
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:40AM

    no more dictations from US…atleast in this issue.govt should go ahead.

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 12:42AM

    Pakistan should reject US demand over Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline. Iran is our next door neighbour and brotherly Muslim country. Pak-Iran should look after their each other interests. US will mount pressure but question arises that why should Islamabad scarify her interest for American’s interest. Government should speed up, start up and complete the project on priority. US should be asked to stop interfering in Pak-Iran relationship. Americans should know that we prefer Iran over them.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:57AM

    I don’t understand as why MAI CLINTON is spending sleepless nights over Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline issue?

    Pakistanis are NOT slaves of US Government to listen to every US advice.

    We know better as what is good for us and what is bad.

    Sanctions or no sanctions, Pakistanis do not care what US says.

    US cannot properly feed its own citizens, what sanctions US could impose on Pakistan?

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  • Arindom
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:05AM

    leaving aside the underlying politics behind this demand, can India (or Pakistan) , if they have problems with Mexico, threaten the US to stop trading with Mexico?
    hmm….it’s really true that ‘power flows from the barrel of a gun’….

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  • Malodi
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:06AM

    Government must have no doubt (hopefully) about the reaction of USA beforehand. What was the counter plan. What and how to bargain if USA threatens. Or like earlier sacrifices, Pakistan will end up obeying without any compensation. Energy is Pakistan’s biggest growing problem which is triggering all other related problems. Irrespective of sentiments for Iran, Energy is Pakistan’s genuine need. If US thinks Pakistan’s effort to somehow solve its energy crisis at cheaper energy from Iran will harm US benefits, then why not USA fund to develop Pakistan’s nuclear power plants plus coal to secure its interests. Pipeline through troubled areas will as rightly said above will remain prone to terrorist attacks. Dont expect anything good will happen under present setup – Govt or opposition ….. incompetency appears at competitive level.

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 1:08AM

    we should be a nation and get ready to face these “consequences” in fact we are already facing many of them

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 1:14AM

    @gp65:
    what price India is paying? plz tell us

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  • blacksheep
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:38AM

    how pathetic — A bankrupt Nation still trying to boss others around — she needs to go back to U.S. and worry about how their entire system will survive the next few years…

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  • Mohsin
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:38AM

    We don’t have electricity to lighten up our homes, we don’t have gas to fuel our vehicles and we don’t have energy to run our industries and there you find these Americans telling us what to do and what not to. What a shame. Pakistan must go for IP gas pipeline at all costs. We have to see our interests not US’.Recommend

  • John B
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:55AM

    The billion dollar is US money given as an aid to PAK. If PAK wants billion dollar as aid, she has to listen to US. Otherwise, she can incur $250 million debt from Iran in building the pipeline and incur the consequences.

    Why should PAK care where she gets her gas. Go with TAPI gas now, and Iran pipe line will eventually come once the dust settles down. At that time, PAK will have two pipelines

    Resisting TAPI in favor of Iran pipeline means, neither of them will be a reality for a long time and PAK will face perpetual energy crisis. Is it too hard for anyone to understand?

    Yes, pride. Well, pride does not solve the problem.

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  • David Salmon
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:55AM

    @shaheen malik: What do “guts” have to do with it? Everyone knows Pakistan has lots of “guts.” It is brains (or reason) that are sometimes questioned.
    Iran seems determined to possess nuclear weapons. The US, Europe and Israel are determined to prevent that, and to coerce Iran have imposed economic sanctions on Iran that are tantamount to economic warfare since they will cut Iran off from any means of international banking, i.e., of receiving payment for its oil and gas.
    Pakistan can bravely choose to join Iran in its economic desolation. But is it wise?

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  • Abubakar Khalid
    Mar 1, 2012 - 2:04AM

    Last time US administration threatend Pakistani president, he allowed them to do whatever they wanted because he didn’t want Pakistan to be sent back to “stone ages”. Well, if you do what US wants and still end up in stone ages so what’s the harm in taking a stand against the US. People need to realize that we’re a nuclear nation and we have a STRONG and WILLING army which we won’t hesitate to use, if required (providing we have a govenment who’s willing to make a stand for Pakistan).

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 2:14AM

    @Truth Exposed:
    The US had time and again imposed sanctions upon India in the past. But we survived, but unfortunately our parents suffered. The scars of those sanctions are still there. They come to haunt us every day in the form of our dead parents memories.

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  • Indian
    Mar 1, 2012 - 2:34AM

    Because of US-Iran relations oil has already reached $125.. god knows what lies ahead !!

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 1, 2012 - 2:52AM

    We are friends just for two more years then ….

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  • AnisAqeel
    Mar 1, 2012 - 3:04AM

    @ProudPakistani:
    This very question was asked from USSR also before creation of Bangladesh and some people like you being living in a glass house condemned and threw stones on houses made of concrete. There is another Bangladesh in making and my dear sentimantal country men are behaving as they were behaving in 1970.
    Out ISI does what is told to do decided by a few genwerals and believe me these generals are itself a government and Pakistan’s security is a secondary item in their agenda, they are paid higest salary and benefits in the world and want to keep it as it is.

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  • Azim
    Mar 1, 2012 - 3:18AM

    Give us the 7 nuclear reactor’s and sign a deal similar to India fast and we can re-think! Not going ahead with Iran will undermine our economy, much which you mentioned is quite shaky, and the damage will be more severe then any trade and economic sanctions – And don’t tell us you think otherwise!

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  • Naseer
    Mar 1, 2012 - 3:29AM

    @Shakky:
    Wah Shakky wah. Looks who is talking about relationships? My dear Pakistan is only known for terrorism these days. We have no friends and zero credibility.

    I am a very proud Paksitani and hope that we will learn how to fight for Paksitan’s interest always put Pakistan’s welfare first.

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  • Sher khan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 3:30AM

    India is buying oil from iran even after immense US pressure not to When will Pakistan be a little independent like india

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Mar 1, 2012 - 4:12AM

    Is the US going to sell cheap oil to Pakistan?? If they cannot, they should just butt out of Pakistani economic affairs. Hillary should concentrate on helping Pakistan rid itself of militant elements it nurtured in the first place during Zia’s regime.

    Are the Saudis selling oil on the cheap to Pakistan?

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  • AK
    Mar 1, 2012 - 4:28AM

    If built, it will be Pakistans jugular vein in the hands of terrorists.

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  • gp65
    Mar 1, 2012 - 4:43AM

    @Truth Exposed: “@gp65:
    “what price India is paying? plz tell us”
    Not ‘is paying’ but will have to pay. I already described the consequences. The consequences that hold for Pakistan hold for India as well. The only exception is that India does not get security aid of 2 billion for arms from US, so that cannot be stopped. Other than that I would expect there is no difference.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 1, 2012 - 4:58AM

    just follow your intrest man

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  • M
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:10AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    Which world do you live in? Face reality. Pakistan is a slave of the US & cannot survive without US aid. US is taking its pound of flesh by killing its enemies on Pakistani soil with impunity. Your so called friend China is unable or unwilling to do anything break you from the shackles of slavery

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  • Scales9
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:14AM

    She is openly threatening a nuclear state.

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  • Rangeela Rasool
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:23AM

    @ProudPakistani:
    “Oho…& Miss Clinton may I ask who u r to put sanctions on Pakistan??”
    So don’t know who the US is.Its still are super power and controls much of world including your fatherly Arabian countries and Turkey and these country can’t even dream of going against US except offcourse Russia and China
    So now wait for a while, trade and visa sanctions are in pipeline for Pakistan by US,EU,JAPAN,Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies

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  • LOK
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:32AM

    Americans are serious about Iran sanctions, countries like Japan, EU are complying. This must be a business decision, do the cost benefit analysis and if it says IP pipeline is good to go then go ahead.

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  • vasan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:08AM

    I wonder what will be reaction from the other master of Pakistan. The Saudis,

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  • SaveTheNation
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:43AM

    It is in Pakistan’s national interest to keep good ties with America. Lets see if these demagogue leaders listen to the illiterate nation, or make the right decision. Elections are nearing and they don’t care abt Pakistan’s national interest. In the least, Pakistan should hold until India does any trade.

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  • gp65
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:11AM

    @Abubakar Khalid: “People need to realize that we’re a nuclear nation and we have a STRONG and WILLING army which we won’t hesitate to use, if required “

    The consequences that Hillary is talking about are economic not military. So the point about military is not strictly relevant.

    Secondly, the strong army has been pretty silent in the face of drones.

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  • gp65
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:17AM

    @Scales9: “She is openly threatening a nuclear state.”

    Please get over your obsession with being a nuclear state. It is completely irrelevant here. US has not threatened even Iran with muclear attack – so obviously the threat is not military here. The threat is purely economic. I am not justifying the threat simply clarifying.

    Pakistanis who constantly refer to the fact that they are a nuclear state in any issue where the fact has no relevance make a laughing stock of themselves apart from embarrassing their more sensible compatriots/

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  • gp65
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:21AM

    @Mard-e-Haq: “Is the US going to sell cheap oil to Pakistan??”

    No but it appears that they have committed 1 billion in their budget as pure aid (not loan) to Pakistan to fund the TAPI pipeline.

    “they should just butt out of Pakistani economic affairs. Hillary should concentrate on helping Pakistan rid itself of militant elements”

    It is not about what they SHOULD DO but what they CAN DO. Since it is not just Americans but also Eurozone which has sanctioned Iran – violating the sanctions can and most likely will have adverse consequences.

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  • gp65
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:59AM

    @SaveTheNation: ” In the least, Pakistan should hold until India does any trade.”

    Indian finance minister has already said that India will continue to get oil from Iran. Hillary has already said that she has had blunt and intense discussions ith India. India however has always had an independent foreign policy and for the first 50 years the price it pai for it was a lower growth rate. IT was willing to do so to maintain its independence. This is what I have said earlier. Independence can be had but there is a price to be paid.

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  • BlackJack
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:39AM

    You need to rebuild your economy and the US is the only country willing to support that – and it lays down some (often unacceptable) conditions. However, this is not the time for Pak to invite the ire of the US in the form of sanctions. Instead, announce that you are going slow on the IP pipeline but continue in creating the necessary infrastructure. Also announce that you support the TAPI pipeline – after all, this eventually ends in India, and Pakistan will get the transit rights. By the time a decision needs to be made on supplies, there will be a regime change in either Iran or the US, obviating the need for Pak to stick its neck out.

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  • Harry Stone
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:51AM

    @Scales9:

    Seems PAK nulcear weapons are of no value in this conversation. PAK will find this to be true in all conversations going forward. A better choice would have been for PAK to have invested this money in its energy sector and would not be facing its current problems.

    PAK made a different choice. PAK gets to choose now what it wants to do going forward. May it make better choices than it has in the past.

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  • anoni
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:25AM

    The sanction don’t hurt the people of Pakistan it hurt the Elite class who will not get those US $ dollars. That what sanction means :P . Recommend

  • MarkH
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:48AM

    Half of you people have no grasp on context or reality. All she said is Pakistan will get the reaction as is written with its policy towards Iran. As in, no special treatment. It’s not a threat. The violation reaction is what it is and the outcome of that is probably more damaging than what could be made up by what you receive from Iran. Pointing it out serves as “you know what will happen if you do, if you still want to, though it’s probably a very bad economic choice and you have other options, go ahead.”
    Nobody is obligated to trade or do business in Pakistan. Get over yourselves. You’re not special. You’re not going to be treading as an exception. If you don’t care or don’t feel the automatic response that will come afterwards happens, good. Have fun. But don’t act like you can violate a country’s policy and get your hand outs too.

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  • MAD
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:56AM

    Now do you believe Imran Khan. enough is enough. better of dying out than living like slaves.

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  • Truthbetold
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:01PM

    @Arindom:

    “can India (or Pakistan) , if they have problems with Mexico, threaten the US to stop trading with Mexico?
    hmm….it’s really true that ‘power flows from the barrel of a gun’….”

    Yes, they can if they are giving the US billions of dollars in free money. Power flows from a fat wallet more than from a gun.

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  • faraz
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:09PM

    @MarkH: Gotcha, you are intelligent and one with the knoweldge!!!

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Mar 1, 2012 - 2:26PM

    US’ leaders never want to see Pakistan a real and true sovereign and economically advanced country at all and US’ leaders want that Pakistan forever be the beggar and dependent country on US’ aid and our leaders are obeying and following their worldly master US’ leaders’ commandments blindly and completely despite knowing the truth and reality very well.US’ leader leave Pakistan and only mind your own business.

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  • Eddie
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:19PM

    Pakistan should completely ban and put sanctions on US by stop cooperating in matters of Afghanistan and close her air space that she just opened for humanitarian supplies. This would teach them a lesson. Blocking the military supplies already caused them to shorten their mission and leave Afghanistan 14 months early.

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  • rohit
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:30PM

    guys Iran is in serious trouble, their currency is down 50% in 6 months and the banking system is paralyzed. Bravado is fine but Iran will simply be crippled by the west until it comes to its senses. Even the Arab nations are longing for a strike on the Persians (Saudis flat out hate Persians).

    If Pakistanis look at it calmly they will realize Iran is a sinking ship

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  • Parvez
    Mar 2, 2012 - 12:15AM

    The threat is aimed at the rulers of Pakistan ( installed in their seats by ??? you guessed it ), while the people of Pakistan would be collateral damage ( who cares ??? )

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  • K. Salim Jahangir
    Mar 2, 2012 - 12:20AM

    One hundred & eighty million people of Pakistan have stood up against America & her bullish attitude. ‘ WE WILL HAVE IRAN PAKISTAN GAS PIPE LINE COME WHAT MAY! “

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  • Shane Hashmi
    Mar 2, 2012 - 3:04AM

    @Abubakar Khalid:
    Well said!

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  • James Wambede
    Mar 2, 2012 - 7:20PM

    There we go. The US is reluctant to attack Iran militarily because it knows Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. But at the same time, they want to punish Iran severely through sanctions. While countries like China are buying Iranian oil in big quantities and will not suffer from US sanctions, small countries like Pakistan, Greece, Portugal etc whose economies are hurting, are compelled by the US to stop buying Iranian oil. And all this is happeninmg because the USA has accepted to be held hostage by Israel.

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  • sandeep limaye
    Mar 2, 2012 - 8:01PM

    we indian keep on trolling here but i see no Chinese or Iranian here why/
    because they don’t bother about you. you may keep calling them your friend. we are your real friends and relatives. any counter argument

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  • Khan
    Mar 3, 2012 - 11:36AM

    Dear Madam Hillary Clinton, we barely have any more to get hurt, more than 65% Pakistan is trying to survive below poverty line so do the remaining 34% can. if you are so concerned about us then why nuclear energy for India and CIA agents for Pakistan. Is it not Hippocratic. If at all you want to help, leave Pakistan and Afghanistan and explore new markets for your weapon industry or workout some constructive approach to support your economy. I’m sure there are lot more genius in America to help you in this regard, you only need to change the attitude in Washington DC.

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  • G. Din
    Mar 4, 2012 - 1:15AM

    @Abubakar Khalid:
    “People need to realize that we’re a nuclear nation and we have a STRONG and WILLING army which we won’t hesitate to use, if required (providing we have a govenment who’s willing to make a stand for Pakistan).”
    You may be a nuclear nation but, so is US. Again, you may have a STRONG and (praise be to Lord) WILLING (too) army, but, so has the US. What is more, US has proven both those points, you haven’t. An army which is willing to make a stand against almost impossible odds is essentially a brainless army. Your army is no Viet Cong, for crying out loud; it has lost all the wars where it went bravely to make a stand only to retreat every time!

    @Azim:
    “Give us the 7 nuclear reactor’s and sign a deal similar to India fast and we can re-think! “
    What else may be your pleasure this morning? Eggs on the sunny side, may be?

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