Allaying fears: Iran doesn’t disfavour Gwadar port, says top aide

Published: February 3, 2013

Ali Akbar Walaiti addresses a press conference at the Iranian Consulate in Quetta. PHOTO: ONLINE

QUETTA: 

A top foreign policy aide of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that his country is not trying to sabotage the Gwadar deep-sea port which is portrayed by Western analysts as a rival to Iran’s Chabahar port.

One of the two ports – Chahbahar and Gwadar – will likely become an important link for landlocked Central Asian states to world markets. For this very reason Iran sees Gwadar port with disfavour and suspicion, according to Western media reports.

Ayatollah Khamenei’s aide, however, rejected such reports as propaganda. “Enemies [of Iran and Pakistan] want to destabilise the relationship between the two countries through negative propaganda,” Ali Akbar Walaiti, who is also former foreign minister of Iran, told journalists at Iranian consulate in Quetta on Sunday.

Pakistani cabinet approved earlier this week transfer of Gwadar port to China. Asked about the decision, Walaiti said it was for the people of Pakistan to decide how to utilise the port. “Tehran supports Pakistan’s decisions,” he added.

The cabinet also approved the multi-billion-dollar Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project despite veiled threats from the United States that the deal would invite US sanctions. However, Walaiti advised Islamabad not to give in to American pressure.

“America has no concern with this project which is very important for the people of Pakistan. Pakistan reject US pressure and go ahead with the project,” he said. Until now Islamabad has snubbed American pressure on the project.

Walaiti said that Pakistan did not need technological support from US or European companies for the implementation of the gas pipeline project. “Iranian engineers have proven their ability by building gas pipelines in every corner of Iran,” he added.

Pakistan is facing a ballooning energy crisis. And under the Iran gas pipeline deal,  signed in June 2010, Tehran will export 21.5 million cubic meters per day of natural gas to Pakistan by the end of 2014.

Walaiti reiterated his country’s commitment to help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis. “Iran has almost completed the work on its side for the pipeline and will now provide assistance to Pakistan,” he said, adding that after the completion of the pipeline the Pakistani government would be responsible for its security.

Walaiti said his visit to Quetta was the final leg of his trip to Pakistan in which he met with President Asif Ali Zardari, other government officials and politicians.

Walaiti also visited the mausoleum of the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi. After offering Fateha, he briefly spoke to journalists. Strategic cooperation between two brotherly Islamic countries of Pakistan and Iran is not only for mutual benefit but is also in the regional and international interest, he said.

He said provision of source of energy for Pakistan by Iran is a very important step. “We know that there are some pressure from outside especially by the United States but both countries are determined to continue these kinds of strategic cooperation and also Inshallah in the future we will take more positive steps, especially in the electricity sector, as for the time being only a limited volume of electricity is being transferred to Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2013.

Reader Comments (22)

  • tutupe
    Feb 3, 2013 - 11:17AM

    What about brotherly relations between Islamic repulic of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Will Saudi allow it?

    Recommend

  • Clear Black Bag
    Feb 3, 2013 - 11:22AM

    At least now US must has to admit/confess it that US’ pressure and hold are near to be ended in the world and never forget it US’ officials that every beginning has an end and your monopoly in the world most especially importantly in the South East Asia is going towards the end.So revise your foreign policies most especially importantly regarding Islamic countries of Asia,China and Iran and save the $$$$$$$ for your economic advancements of US’ and US’ citizens…..

    Recommend

  • ks
    Feb 3, 2013 - 11:54AM

    If US can use drones for benefits and security of People of United States. So any project that benefits Pakistans security and benefits is democratic right of Pakistan. US supports Democracy.

    Recommend

  • marki ali
    Feb 3, 2013 - 12:15PM

    This move will atagonize Saudi Arabia more than US. But Pkaistan should not bow down to any pressure be it from US or Saudi. We should look after our interests first.

    Recommend

  • shazada Zahid M Loan
    Feb 3, 2013 - 12:19PM

    The Pakistani should not succomb to American or any other pressure. Just imagine if and when the relationships between the USA and Iran improve where does it leaves Pakistan?

    Recommend

  • Farhan
    Feb 3, 2013 - 12:20PM

    I hope that Pak Govt doesnt bow to the US pressure and continues the project of Gas Pipelines from Iran as it will help the pakistan a lot. it will help the economy in more than we can think of for now.

    Recommend

  • Feb 3, 2013 - 1:21PM

    Pak should go ahead and take up the Pipline Project and build safe passage for it. Thereafter sell; a part of the Gas to India and earn handsome profit and offset the Trade imbalance.We have to move out of US shadow by mutual coopreration and Iran Pak line shall find a huge support in Indian general Public. Let us do it.

    Recommend

  • Baloch
    Feb 3, 2013 - 1:37PM

    Chabhar and Gwadar are both Baloch ports which belong to Balochistan (the land of Baloch). Unfortunately, they both are under control of foreign occupiers (Pakistan & Iran) and both are making sure to eliminate the Baloch element and have the apple for themselves only.

    Recommend

  • mohajirigiri
    Feb 3, 2013 - 1:39PM

    Good move by Pakistan finally. This will teach US and their arab allies a lesson they will remember forever.

    Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Feb 3, 2013 - 1:42PM

    I think American by saying alot on Iran-Pak pipeline is going against the USA itself so keep objecting load and clear,pipeline will come.

    Recommend

  • Something Clever
    Feb 3, 2013 - 2:30PM

    @shazada Zahid M Loan:
    Completely pointless thought. It’s centered around Iran’s hatred for Israel and that is not subsiding any century soon unless one or the other disappears.

    Recommend

  • saudi al turki
    Feb 3, 2013 - 2:43PM

    Has Pakistan forgotten about all the help WE GAVE TO PAKISTAN? VERY UNGRATEFUL INDEED.

    Recommend

  • Something Clever
    Feb 3, 2013 - 2:45PM

    @mohajirigiri:
    What lesson is that? That Pakistan’s love for self inflicted pain is stronger than their desire to survive and will always just be a liability that should be cut off if it wasn’t for their irresponsible nature combined with their nukes?

    Recommend

  • antanu g
    Feb 3, 2013 - 3:50PM

    @Something Clever:
    you mean becoming a slave to US haegonomy is must for survival?then go ahead.

    Recommend

  • QC
    Feb 3, 2013 - 4:26PM

    Euphoria will soon run dry as there is NO security along this pipeline as it runs thru Baluchistan. They will be having a target practise every day on it. What you will get is ZERO gas but a huge gas bill from Iran.

    Recommend

  • goggi
    Feb 3, 2013 - 5:34PM

    How would be the map of Subcontinent today if Shah Tahmasp of Iran would have refused his military help to King Humayun and instead handed him to his enemy brother Kamran?

    Among other things we would definitely be spared from the extravagant Taj Mahal………….. a symbol of love and decadency at the same time!

    Recommend

  • rehmat
    Feb 3, 2013 - 5:36PM

    @saudi we never forget tht but the question you are asking us is same as if I ask you questions about keeping good relationships with India. N never forget how much our army has contributed to your army in return so take a chill pill this project is a lifeline for the survival of Pakistani economy if your our frn you shouldn’t object it.

    Recommend

  • Feb 3, 2013 - 7:54PM

    Iran has no business favouring or disfavouring Gawadar port. It is Pakistani territory and Pakistan can do what it likes in its own land. How would Iran like if Pakistan tells them to shut down Bandar Abbas port?

    The Iranians should be happy that Chinese and not Americans will operate this port, so no danger of spying against them.

    Recommend

  • ahmed
    Feb 3, 2013 - 8:44PM

    @saudi al turki:
    And still helping by funding terrorists. Saudi Arabia is fulfilling the Zionist agenda. The only country that sees in the eyes of US is Iran. Saudi does not want that Iran should make any progress. Iran however has proven that it can progress despite sanctions. They are technically advanced, the proof is forcing down the US drone within minutes that it entered the Iranian airspace. Saudis please stop helping the enemies of Islam.Recommend

  • Umair Shad
    Feb 4, 2013 - 9:01AM

    Democracy in whatever form is thousand-folds better than Dictatorship.

    Recommend

  • Clear Black Bag
    Feb 4, 2013 - 11:21AM

    @tutupe:What about brotherly relations between Islamic republic of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Will Saudi allow it?
    Saudi Arab has shown its objections on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline projects by favoring,referring and supporting US’ interests already and also shall afford it very painfully because Saudi Arab has already given this message to Pakistani officials on the US’ officials’ commandments,id est,Pakistan has to cancel its gas pipeline’s projects with Iran….

    Recommend

  • shivaji
    Feb 6, 2013 - 3:34PM

    @marki ali:
    you forgot that US is one of the closest ally of saudi arabia. so both will be at dismay

    Recommend

More in World