No pressure from Riyadh on Iran pipeline: FO

Published: April 13, 2012

Spokesperson says Iran and S Arabia relations not linked.

ISLAMABAD: 

The foreign ministry on Thursday denied that Riyadh was pressurising Islamabad on the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.

“Saudi Arabia is our important development partner. I can tell you that there is no pressure from Saudi Arabia on the IP gas pipeline project,” foreign office spokesperson Abdul Basit said at his weekly briefing on Thursday.

He was reacting to reports that a Saudi deputy foreign minister, during his recent visit to Islamabad, delivered an important message offering Pakistan alternative options to meet its growing energy demands in return for staying away from the multi-billion dollar IP gas pipeline.

The project is scheduled to complete by 2014 but its fate hangs in the balance due to simmering tensions between the US and Iran.

The US has already threatened Pakistan with dire consequences if it goes ahead with the project.

“Iran is also a brotherly country and there are no linkages between our relations with Saudi Arabia and our relations with Iran,” Basit said.

Tehran and Riyadh have a history of mistrust, posing a serious challenge for Pakistan to maintain a delicate balance in its bilateral relations with them.

“We consider both the countries as our friends and brothers and attach highest of importance in further deepening our relations with them in all spheres,” the spokesman maintained.

Peace with India

Irrespective of the tragedy at a military camp in Siachen, Pakistan wants to resolve all outstanding disputes with India, Basit said.

“Siachen is already part of the dialogue process. There is nothing new about it. As far as Pakistan is concerned we have always maintained that all issues between Pakistan and India should be resolved, especially the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

The spokesperson said Pakistan hoped that the ongoing peace process with India would be able to move beyond the confidence building measures and settle issues bedevilling relations between the two countries.

“At the end of the day, the effectiveness and credibility of any dialogue process hinges on its results. We hope that this dialogue, as our foreign minister said on many occasions, is result-oriented,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:54PM

    Care about US’ interference in this regard.This is open truth and reality that Saudi Arabia doesn’t and will not object on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project at all but USA is the biggest threat and hindrance in this regard and Pakistan may be threatened of US’ sanctions over Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

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  • Ali
    Apr 23, 2012 - 10:24AM

    Pakistanis should get themselves out of this US-Saudi evil nexus!

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  • kanwal
    Apr 25, 2012 - 3:22PM

    No interference? But these corrupt Saudis wanted their masters to “cut the head of the snake” not so long ago. How come they dont demand the same from their “muslim brothers”? Sounds suspicious to me..

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