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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid