World | Pakistan

US envoy concerned over gas link

Says Washington was willing to help meet Islamabad’s energy needs

  • By Mohammad Ashraf, Correspondent
  • Published: 17:58 December 10, 2012
  • Gulf News

Karachi: The American envoy to Islamabad Monday expressed his concerns over a proposed gas pipeline project between Iran and Pakistan that aimed at reaching the energy market in South Asia.

United States ambassador Richard Olson talking to the Pakistani media here said that the US had its concerns over the proposed pipeline, but his country was willing to offer its assistance to fulfil the Pakistani energy demands.

Olson comments came after he visited the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of the Pakistani nation, where he also wrote his comments on the visitors book to pay homage to the great leader.

He further said that they believed in religious freedom and want to work with Pakistan in different sectors including education and culture.

The Iran-Pak gas pipeline is a multi-billion dollar project that would transmit millions of cubic feet gas to energy-deficit Pakistan on daily basis.

Though US does not want Pakistan to use the Iranian option, the Pakistani government has been committed to pursue with the proposal of the gas pipeline.

Last month President Asif Ali Zardari urged his Iranian counterpart to speed up joint projects between the two countries — the gas pipeline the highest priority among them.

The discussion of Zardari with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was held at the sideline of Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) summit last month in Baku.

Only last week, advisor to Pakistani prime minister on energy and natural resources told the media that Iran has allocated $250 million (Dh917 million) for the proposed pipeline work on which would start as soon as possible.

The two countries were also planning to enter into a joint venture for setting up a refinery at Gwadar, a newly developed port in Balochistan province.

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