Iran pipeline to be completed irrespective of external pressure: Khar

Published: March 1, 2012

Gas pipeline in Pakistan's interest, ample win-win opportunities among Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Thursday that the projects with Iran are in the national interest of Pakistan and will be completed irrespective of any external pressures.

Speaking at a briefing in Islamabad, Khar said that it was decided during the trilateral summit in Islamabad between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran that all the three neighbours will engage in a process of developing a roadmap of cooperation and collaboration to define the way forward in the domains of energy, connectivity and trade.

She said that there were ample win-win opportunities among the three countries.

“The projects which were decided with Iran include the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, transmission of electricity and upgrading the connectivity and trade between the two countries.”

Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had 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.

Clinton had said that they supported the alternative of a pipeline via Turkmenistan.

Aim of Pakistan to work regional geo-economics in its advantage

Khar said that yesterday’s cabinet unanimous decision to move towards trade liberalisation with India illustrates the priority Pakistan attaches to its economic development.

She said, “The aim of Pakistan is to work the geo-economics of this region in our advantage rather than our disadvantage because Pakistan has always been a supporter of regional connectivity and enhancement.”

The foreign minister said that Pakistan continues to seek a peaceful resolution of all disputes with India and will continue to insist on a meaningful dialogue process.

‘Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran first ones to suffer at the hands of instability’

Khar said that the trilateral summit will help bring stability and peace to the region.

She said that Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan were the first ones to suffer from instability or the lack of peace in the region. The talks during the trilateral summit were, “constructive, cordial and forward looking.”

‘Pakistan wants to pursue peace track which is in the interest of Afghans’

The foreign minister said that during her bilateral trip to Kabul, Pakistan made serious efforts to reach out to all the Afghan nationals and clarified that Pakistan wants to pursue a peace track which is in the interest of the Afghans.

“I had a meeting with each of the opposition leaders,” said Khar.

Reader Comments (48)

  • Sher khan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:44PM

    I guess it’s a clear signal from Pakistan that their foreign policy has changed significantly. Let’s see what uncle Sam will react to it

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  • Z.Khan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:46PM

    Good to hear roaring claims one side Ms Clinton and other side Ms Khar. Who will prevail time will tell. Normally might is right prevails. Money makes the mare go. In the presence of money demands from USA it looks voice of Ms Khar will die down soon.

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  • Chotta Panda
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:49PM

    I don’t know if Pakistan is in a situation where it can poke the bear (USA in this case) in the eye and get away with it?

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  • Zeta
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:52PM

    Take a stand. Doesn’t matter the consequences whatever the bully US will shove at us

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  • Its (still) the Economy Stupid
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:58PM

    The usual argument will be give us civil nuclear deal like India or we will build the pipeline with the help of Russia or China. Even though Pakistan has no money to pay for the gas coming from Iran through this pipeline or manpower to secure the pipeline (e.g. Sui pipeline is blown up hundreds of times). These are just empty threats for public consumption.

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  • Mohsin
    Mar 1, 2012 - 5:58PM

    Reasonable take. The world peace has already been shattered a great deal in the name of “Saving American interests” and going with it will only create more chaos. Though I have a firm belief, world peace will remain a dream until this monster of a country is not reined in. How peaceful must have this world been if there was no America.

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  • Gladiators!
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:12PM

    Will you stop taking American dollars? Because gas from Iran and dollars from America wont be able to go together.

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  • Maryam
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:13PM

    this could cost Pakistan elected government again.

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  • Ammar
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:14PM

    Very encouraging to see the change in foreign policy – hopefully, this should act as a signal to other countries, that Pakistan is and always be a sovereign nation.

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  • Chilli
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:19PM

    America should be eliminated from this region for all the bad reasons. We have seen enough of trouble due to USA. For all positive projects, USA Pak relationship should be enhanced.

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  • naeem mullah
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:20PM

    it is true that Iran Pakistan gas pipe line is life line for Pakistan.but it is impossible for Pakistan to do son without prior permission from US.still we are getting aid and instructions by our god father America and there is no any politician nor any political party who disobey the fear weather friend America.it is child brain and nightmare of Ms khar only for statement that never be true in future, if all political partners be come ruler of Pakistan. i can say it is misfortune of masses of Pakistan.

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 6:36PM

    good to see the govt showing some spine,

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  • B.J Khan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:38PM

    wow !what a brave statement …but unfortunatly this has been going on for a few years now …Gas from Iran ..? Not with USA s permission…Recommend

  • Sher Khan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:38PM

    Indian foriegn policy should be an inspiration for pakistan. India has rebuffed US demands of curbing iranian oil export. that has left US agitated with India,.

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  • Raj - USA
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:49PM

    True that IP pipeline is important for Pakistan and Iran. However, Pakistan cannot survive in the face of international onslaught, even if the pipeline materializes and gas flows regularly. When the survival of Iran with so much oil and gas itself is very doubtful, Pakistan should think several times (or should I say 10 times) before it gives any statements. Even Libya could not survive with the Iron hand of Gadaffi and they had much less sectarian and separatist problems than Pakistan. Everyone in Pakistan knows that until USA and EU blesses the IP pipeline it cannot materialize. Such bravado statements only encourage Iran to be defiant and it will crumble taking Pakistan along with it. In any case it is not so that if Pakistan says that it shall go ahead with the PI pipeline, it would be completed tomorrow and gas start to flow immediately. Pakistan should publicly say that it is walking away from the IP pipeline and Iran would come to terms. At that time Pakistan can go for the IP pipeline. Pakistan totally lacks diplomatic skills. Building public sentiments is not going to fill up your plates. It does everything only when it is forced to do and has no other options. This is the reason, when Pakistan actually does what USA and EU wants, it still does not get credit. Pakistan can go ahead with the IP pipeline but it shall immediately loose free and subsidized oil from Saudi and Kuwait. Pakistan should also keep in mind that any gas supply has to pass through Baluchistan.

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  • Akhtar
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:51PM

    Am afraid khar’s claims are empty. Where is the money? US Aid won’t work. The Chinese never provided aid even during difficult times. Saudi & other Arabs like UAE, Oman, Kuwait etc are Anti Shia Iran Grouping & they won’t support. Iranians are already broke. Russians won’t interfere. The other friend North Korea cannot afford.

    I think the IP pipeline will always remain in the pipeline. I think we should think practically rather than be emotional.

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  • FactCheck
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:51PM

    With what? Bamboo from the Chinese? Iran has not built a pipeline of this magnitude, Pkistan has not and China has not so you need western expertise to build one. Second, the pipeline runs through a troubled areas what if blows it up. Recommend

  • Khan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:02PM

    @ Z Khan,

    It this fear ideology which have ruined this country, people are in worst state anyway.. SO NO MORE this fear factor, Pakistan MUST have its own interest but money n might is right policy. it was this might is right fear which pushed Pakistan into the war in 80′s n 2000′s. NO MORE FEAR

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:18PM

    Americans have more livers on Pakistan than Pakistan has on them. If Pakistan does not fall in line, Americans will pressurize through Saudi Arabia. Had Pakistani economy been strong, the case would have been totally different. Bottom line of all problems in Pakistan is her economy and nothing else. For economy to improve you need internal and external peace. Can you do it? If not, be prepared to be hit from all sides. If your pocket is full of $$s, every one will like to escort you and will be ready to pt up with even with your tantrums.No one ever talks of human right violations in Saudi Arabia because their pockets are full of $$s.India has been dealing with American and European pressure for last 64 years and has almost mastered the art to a large extent.

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  • ProudPakistani
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:23PM

    Probably one of the few good decisions taken by this government…

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  • Sajjad Ashraf
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:32PM

    This is the only honorable position we can take. Go ajead – try it. This nation will support an honorable policy.

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  • smj
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:34PM

    They will go ahead and do it this time. Iran’s 80% economy is based on oil and gas exports and after the sanctions, this is one of their biggest hopes to earn revenue. So Iran will invest in it. Also, Uncle Sam has not much bargaining chips in this issue. If they offer a nuclear deal to Pakistan similar to India, the lobbys in washington will eat up Obama mian in a day.
    The security issue will be a concern on the way to pipeline but if Army is on board, this line will build at any cost.

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  • WoW
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:36PM

    I think Ms. Khan is right to say that this pipeline should be built. Get the US$250 million from Iran and show a few trucks and pipelines at the border. Elections are coming up soon. New government moves in and find there are no funds to proceeds. All is wellzzzzz…

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  • Shyam
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:50PM

    What if US+Saudi+Israel invade Iran before the pipeline is built. What will Pakistan do? Get oil by email??

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  • Azim
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:11PM

    Good, go-ahead and don’t try to use this latter as a bargaining chip, the nation will stand behind the government.

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 8:16PM

    Very good decision, which is appreciated, all the nation is in your favor for daring and encouraging steps.

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  • dfgd
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:55PM

    @Shyam:
    what the Indians have to do with each and every matter of Pakistan? Is this particular matter related to you??

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 8:58PM

    @Shyam

    they would have if they could.. If your motherland India backed out of the deal because of US pressure dont start criticizing the project itself.. but I doubt that Pakistan will be able to complete it.

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  • well-wisher
    Mar 1, 2012 - 9:00PM

    How is Pakistan going to raise billions required for its infrastructure ? Had India joined this venture it would have helped all since it has knowhow for the technalities involved.

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  • Truth Teller
    Mar 1, 2012 - 9:18PM

    Get real! There is a saying that America can make you and break you. I hope it does not break us.

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  • Naseer
    Mar 1, 2012 - 9:31PM

    Good to see that Paksitan is trying to take a stand; we need to wait and see if Pakistani government really implement this decision in near future.

    India did the same thing and we never heard any complaints from USA. For once, we need to stop begging and try to stand on our own. We have all the potential but no will. God bless Pakistan.

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  • Cautious
    Mar 1, 2012 - 9:44PM

    If your going to build the pipeline why are you still talking and not building? Every nation has boogeyman and Iran is America’s – siding with them may create unexpected consequences to Pakistan – will be interesting to see what happens.

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  • Jadugar
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:10PM

    Ms Khar, Are these statement of defiance is because of the election year or is it because Pakistan Gotv. suddenly decided to become holy and go against Their Masters wishes, Remember Wikileaks, we will allow drone attacks and will just pretend to protest in the NA. If only we could believe is cowardly Govt. !!!!!! and for those who are scare mongering, look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam….all have managed to live better without the US aid, Anyways the aid from US has never been used for the poor, Its the elite and the rich who will feel the pinch.Recommend

  • Shafiq Ur Rehman Yusufzai
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:38PM

    Really dont understand this phenomina that, ll not support PK inspite of our 64 years associations and if they will look for ulternatives then they ll face the consiquencies?? this is the worst type of extremism and it will sky rocket the onrise hate against americans inside pakistan and ll boost the ——-

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  • MarkH
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:06PM

    @Jadugar:
    No, it’s not the elite and rich that would feel the pinch. They’re quite accustomed to their life style. They’ll just take it from you instead.

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  • Mar 1, 2012 - 11:39PM

    Ooo boy.. You know its a lie when you govt comes out and says it! I really thought pakistan was going to go this route!

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  • Am I wrong ?
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:43PM

    @Mr.khar

    I challenge you pak can’t complete this project .World knows what kind of condition Iran is going through , though they have lots of oil .Pak can’t sustain pressure of NATO .Why pak , no asian country can’t challenge NATO’s economic and military might. Pak has only 2 foreign policy , 0 or 1 . But thing is that neither 0 or 1 in foreign policy helps any country . Choose a middle path and escape . Direct confrontation is always a risk .

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  • Uza Syed
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:55PM

    No. It’s not in our best interest, at least, not at this point in time. We are, for no rhyme or reason, letting ourselves being sucked into a brewing conflict. It serves Iran alright but how does it serve our national interest is beyond common sense. I’d have liked to see swapped positions / roles here and then see the route Iran would select for itself—would they opt for prudence or useless sentimentalism and false brotherhood and religiosity. Tough luck again for poor Pakistan, I wish I was wrong, very wrong.

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  • Asad Baloch
    Mar 2, 2012 - 12:04AM

    before making such a bold decision,our govt must have planned how to deal with US sanctions.it might have found alternate to face US pressure.so it won’t be wrong to say that IP is destined to be built now

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  • waseem
    Mar 2, 2012 - 12:20AM

    would it not be better if this stance is taken a little earlier? any way it is good to be late if not sooner. Now it is time to thoroughly review our foreign policy. We have to identify our priorities and national interests. If something goes against them then we have to take strict actions other wise there is no need to make every one our enemy.Recommend

  • agha
    Mar 2, 2012 - 1:59AM

    I think we are forgetting the history and our main foundation for fight of righteous from gazwa badr to tipu sultan era and more recent the wars of afganistan, one can not wipe us off so easily and one should appreciate the stand irrespictive of whatever follows and it must alwaz be death before dishonour.

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  • arshad
    Mar 2, 2012 - 2:44AM

    its all talk this pppp government is not going to upset their pay masters . what they today is one thing what they do tomorrow is another .I CANT SEE THIS LOT GOING AHEAD WITH IT

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  • Munir Ahmad Saeed
    Mar 2, 2012 - 2:54AM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande:
    Just remember, Pakistan continued it nuclear program, despite all sanctions USA had brought upon Pakistan, it survived then economically, it will do now. All that’s needed is political will by the leadership and united resolved by the people. We have both, as has been demonstrated through successful nuclear and missiles programs.

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  • Hilary Clinton
    Mar 2, 2012 - 3:19AM

    If pakistani wont do as told by me or nato countries, we will not issue pakistanis student,visitor,business or immigration visa. You will have to do with fake Birkin bags from china, can Hina Khar live with fake birkin bags?

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  • Deidre
    Mar 2, 2012 - 4:50AM

    Question is if Pak will remain under the iron grip of money and corruption or indispensable under her own. People of Pakistan have the capability to move this country into the 21 century
    They are intelligent, hard working people as much as Their brothers and sisters on either side of her borders.
    Pak cannot dens on US aid alone and must expand their policies and interest independently
    We cannot and should not follow blindly the sole interest of US only.
    We should extend our hand of brotherhood to Hindues, sikhs, Christians, parsis,Persians ,Afghans Arabs, Tajiks Chinese, and then worry about US and Eruo zone. 90% of what we want is within our reach. Let’s do it.
    God Bless IPI gas line.

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  • Alami Musafir
    Mar 2, 2012 - 5:16AM

    The matter is very simple. Without transit facilities across Pakistan the US mission in Afghanistan and in Central Asia in general is finished, kaput. The main item to block is, ironically enough, fuel. That is their Achilles heel, without fuel all their tanks, planes, helicopters, mechanised artillery, troop carriers, their entire war machine is just worthless immobile junk. They would be much easier to attack and dismember.

    If the US gets too uppity, just cut off their Achilles tendon. Not only will it destroy their forces in Afghanistan, it will also destroy their military and that will bring down their government at the very least.

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  • Pine
    Mar 2, 2012 - 5:16AM

    @ all those commenting against Iran pipeline ……. Just consider….. Swiss banks don’t deposit natural gas so far :)

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  • usmanx
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:07AM

    TMI used to mean too much information
    but on Pakistani newspapers comment section, it means
    Too Many Indians.Recommend

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