News / Asia

Pakistan, Iran Launch Gas Pipeline

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, during a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, Mar. 11, 2013.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, during a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, Mar. 11, 2013.
Sharon Behn
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is in Iran to inaugurate the construction of a new pipeline that could supply energy-starved Pakistan with natural gas.  The project could risk incurring international sanctions surrounding Tehran's nuclear program.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian leader President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are launching the construction of a multi-billion-dollar pipeline that would pump badly-needed natural gas into Pakistan.

A ground-breaking ceremony was arranged at the border between the two countries, despite serious concerns on the part of the United States.

Proposed Iran-Pakistan Oil PipelineProposed Iran-Pakistan Oil Pipeline
x
Proposed Iran-Pakistan Oil Pipeline
Proposed Iran-Pakistan Oil Pipeline
Washington has imposed a series of sanctions on Iran and those found to be dealing with Tehran, because of its nuclear program.

But Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Moazzam Khan has made it clear Pakistan's energy needs trump concerns about possible sanctions. "We have said this repeatedly that Pakistan, being [an] enormously energy-deficit country, it is in our national interest to have this project," he explained. "And we are committed to have this project."

Related pipeline video clip:

Pakistan, Iran to Inaugurate Controversial Gas Pipelinei
X
March 11, 2013 12:51 PM
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is in Iran to inaugurate the construction of a new pipeline that could supply energy-starved Pakistan with natural gas. Sharon Behn reports on the project, which risks incurring international sanctions surrounding Tehran's nuclear program.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland warned last week, if the deal is finalized for the proposed pipeline, it would raise "serious questions" under Washington's Iran Sanctions Act.  She says the United States is working with Pakistan on alternative energy sources, such as a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan in Central Asia and increasing hydro-power.

But Zardari has insisted that the project with Iran is of immense economic importance to Pakistan and should not fall under the sanctions regime. "The world and other countries have given other nations permission to be doing business inclusive of these sanctions, so I do not see why we cannot engage the world and make sure that the world understands our point of view and Pakistan also gets a waiver for this project," he stated.

The pipeline project has been in the works since 1994. And, there are questions whether the push to build the pipeline now - just weeks before the government is to face national elections - is more of a vote-winning ploy or actual policy.

Pakistan has been enduring daily blackouts and chronic energy shortages, affecting businesses and homes, for several years. Pakistan officials have said the pipeline could come online by the end of 2014.

Rashid Mehmood,who has been waiting in line for compressed natural gas for his car, welcomes the deal with Iran. "I am very happy and our nation is very happy for this agreement which is signed by President Zardari," he said. "It is one of the most important and very beneficial agreements [of the] last five year[s]"

Even if the country forges ahead with the deal, it is not clear how Pakistan will pay for the construction of the 780-kilometer pipeline from its western border with Iran or how it will ensure the safety of the line that would cross volatile Baluchistan province.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bahadur227 from: UK
March 12, 2013 1:02 PM
Best ever news for Pakistan.USA should accept it and should back it up instead of opposing it.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid