Pakistani FM: Islamabad Not to Succumb to Pressures over Iran Gas Pipeline
TEHRAN (FNA)- Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar underlined her country's need to energy resources, and voiced Islamabad's determination to move ahead on the gas pipeline project with Iran.
Hina Rabbani Khar has said that no pressure regarding the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project would be tolerated.
The foreign minister made the remark in an exclusive interview with Geo television in Islamabad on Thursday.
She said Pakistan needs energy and will pursue Iran gas pipeline and other projects to meet requirements, the Islamic republic news agency reported.
Earlier this month, Islamabad officials reiterated Pakistan's resolve to expedite its gas pipeline project with Iran despite the US pressures and warnings.
Speaking at the Air University in the Pakistani province of Multan, Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said Islamabad will not give in to foreign pressures to abandon its joint gas pipeline project with Iran.
Islamabad will make the decisions regarding the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline based on its own interests, Gilani added.
The 2700-kilometer long pipeline was to supply gas for Pakistan and India which are suffering a lack of energy sources, but India has evaded talks. Last year Iran and Pakistan declared they would finalize the agreement bilaterally if India continued to be absent in the meetings.
According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Iran's Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100 km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Baluchistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to the project.
The gas will be supplied from the South Pars field. The initial capacity of the pipeline will be 22 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum, which is expected to be later raised to 55 billion cubic meters. It is expected to cost $7.4 billion.