US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Washington has made it clear to Islamabad that the proposed Iran-Pakistan pipeline could raise serious concerns under the Iran Sanctions Act.
Addressing the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Secretary Clinton said that the US favoured the alternative Turkmenistan pipeline for Pakistan.
Clinton’s remarks were in response to 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 the Turkmenistan pipeline was a better alternative, predictable and will avoid business with Iran. She added that embarking on the construction of a Pakistan-Iran pipeline is in violation of the Iran sanctions act. “We all know what the consequences of that law are,” she added. Secretary Clinton added that this move would be particularly damaging for Pakistan because the country’s economy is already ailing and would further undermine Pakistan’s economic status.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2012.