Pakistan ready to face US sanctions over Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project: Dr. Asim

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is prepared to face any kind of US sanction over $7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, Dr. Asim Hussain, advisor to the prime minister on petroleum, said.

Every measure would be taken to secure Pakistani economy which was under pressure, Dr. Asim told media after signing an accord between OGDCL and fertilizer companies.

The advisor said agreement would also be inked with Iran for establishing 400,000 barrel per day capacity refinery in Gwadar.

On Sunday, the President Asif Ali Zardari, when asked about objections emanating from some quarters on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, said Pakistan was a sovereign country and it was acting in its national interest. The President expressed the hope that with the passage of time the critics would appreciate Pakistan’s growing energy requirement and the need for Iran-Pak gas pipeline.

On the other hand, US has consistently warned Pakistan that it is in its interest to avoid any activity that can hit it with sanctions

The State Department said in a statement a week ago that it was providing Pakistan with alternatives that would avoid any sanctions violation.

“We recognize that Pakistan has significant energy requirements but we really think there are other long-term solutions to Pakistan’s energy needs,” said deputy acting spokesman Patrick Ventrell.

“And so we’ve been assisting as a government to contribute to the alleviation of the energy crisis in Pakistan,” he said.