Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Pakistan: President defends Iran gas pipeline

Source: IRNA

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardrai has defended Iran gas pipeline project and said he was a facilitator to implement the project after the cabinet had approved the project.

Talking to senior journalists and TV anchors he said he had worked hard to bring the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project on track.

He said he had raised the pipeline issue with Iran for five to six times after India had pulled out of the project.

“It took time to encourage Iran to pursue the IP project,” he said, adding that it was his wife slain Benazir Bhutto who had carried out feasibility study of the project.

Asked if he took the decision to implement the IP project, he said it was the cabinet decision and he had played the role of a facilitator.

He said that Iran had agreements on gas with Turkey and Pakistan has the right to pursue the project.

He said that all independent power producers would be converted from fuel to gas through Iranian pipeline.

He said that Pakistan can do trade with Iran, China and Turkey on barter system.

Regarding the US drone attacks, the President said that his government had not signed any agreement with the US government over drone attacks, however, he added that he was not aware if former President Musharraf had made any such agreement or not.

Responding to a question about the future of former President Musharraf, President Zardari said it was up to next Prime Minister designate Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to decide what action he planned to take, after he assumed his office.

Asked if he would pardon the former President, he said, if such a request was made to him by his family, he would take an appropriate decision.