First things first

Published: August 4, 2013
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Given the catastrophe this has caused, with the full economic impact of an energy crisis that has resulted in thousands of lay-offs yet to be fully assessed, Pakistan, of course, needs the gas from Iran. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Given the catastrophe this has caused, with the full economic impact of an energy crisis that has resulted in thousands of lay-offs yet to be fully assessed, Pakistan, of course, needs the gas from Iran. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

As a nation which too often faces threats to its sovereignty, mainly because of its peculiar geostrategic, political and economic situation, decisions made independently in Islamabad, which put the country’s own interests first, are always welcome. One of these decisions on the key Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline was announced on August 2 by Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, who said in his briefing that Pakistan had handed over a ‘non-paper’ to the US Secretary of State John Kerry during his recent visit, informing him of Pakistan’s plans to move ahead with the pipeline, which is envisaged to be completed by 2014, and will bring in a much-needed flow of natural gas to an energy-starved nation, where many commercial and industrial enterprises face collapse — or indeed have already collapsed — due to the lack of fuel available to them.

Given the catastrophe this has caused, with the full economic impact of an energy crisis that has resulted in thousands of lay-offs yet to be fully assessed, Pakistan, of course, needs the gas from Iran. The FO spokesman said that in Islamabad’s assessment, there was no violation of economic sanctions on Iran by implementing the pipeline project. Washington has bitterly opposed the multibillion dollar pipeline project and made attempts to persuade Islamabad to abandon it. The decision by the PML-N government to go ahead with the pipeline project, agreed on between President Asif Ali Zardari and his Iranian counterpart in March this year is wise, with Pakistan’s own priorities put first on the list. The people of the country need such thinking.

We also need better relations with all our neighbours. The ‘peace’ pipeline, as it is also called, helps move towards this. It is also a reminder that Pakistan needs to put its own priorities above everything else. No one else will do so for us or our people. The lessons of the past have made this quite clear to us and we must base our future keeping in mind these factors and remembering that every outside nation will be putting its own interests before ours. That is the way of the world.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • ahmad
    Aug 4, 2013 - 1:14AM

    PML-N has done a really great job by going ahead with the IP pipeline

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  • unbelievable
    Aug 4, 2013 - 1:50AM

    Editor formed his pro IP decision before he knew how much the IP cost (ie whether it made any economic sense), where the financing would come from, how much the gas would cost, or addressing the fallout from potential sanctions imposed by the USA. Editor has also never addressed whether a building a Billion dollar pipeline to a country which has a record of cutting off trade to Pakistan passes the common sense test. In short – classic Pakistan decision based on emotion.
    .
    Despite the chest pounding and speeches from Pakistani govt it’s unlikely that Sharif is going to build the pipeline – too many reasonable excuses for not going through with the project and as an industrialist he knows how much Pakistan depends on USA.

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  • Polpot
    Aug 4, 2013 - 3:04AM

    I would say dont count your pipeline till the gas starts flowing
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  • Z.Khan
    Aug 4, 2013 - 1:41PM

    A wise decision if in fact is implemented.

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  • Muhammad
    Aug 4, 2013 - 4:28PM

    I’m so happy we’re still going with this! I was worried Nawaz was going to give in to Western and Arab interests!

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  • Aug 9, 2013 - 10:22AM

    “The decision by the PML-N government to go ahead with the pipeline project”

    This is not true. No such decision has been made. The pipeline will never be built because such decisions are made in Washington D.C. not Islamabad.

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