ISLAMABAD: Iranian parliamentary Speaker Dr Ali Larijani on Friday said Pakistan must not link the multibillion-dollar gas pipeline with economic sanctions on Tehran and stressed that the project could create “lasting security for our economic interests”.
“Pakistan should not attach the gas project with economic sanctions because under the same circumstances we are selling gas to Turkey and other countries,” Larijani told a news conference before wrapping up his two-day trip to Islamabad. During the visit, he called on President Mamnoon Hussain, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and Senate Chairman Nayyar Bokhari.
Talking to reporters, Larijani insisted that the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project was favourable to Pakistan because it would provide the country access to a reliable source of energy in future.
The Iranian speaker said he was assured by the Pakistani leadership that the project would be completed.
Replying to a question, Larijani made it clear that the recent border tension between Pakistan and Iran could not undermine ties between the two countries. He stressed the need for closer cooperation between the intelligence agencies of the two countries to deal with militant threat in the border area.
“I am confident now that Pakistan’s intelligence service ISI is capable enough and strong enough,” he said. “[ISI’s] counterparts in Iran are very powerful as well, so if they cooperate with each other, if they connect to each other, they can easily overcome these trivial matters. I am sure such cooperation can solve problems in future,” he added.
He also condemned the activities of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and accused the United States of creating the ultra-extremist group which he said was creating fissures within the Islamic world.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2014.
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