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Pakistan president seeks to allay US concerns
Publication Date : 05-03-2013
Allaying concerns of the United States over the US$7.5 billion Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari clarified on Monday that Pakistan did not intend to offend anyone by pursuing this project of national importance.
“Let me tell you, Pakistan does not want to offend anyone. It is a sovereign country and has every right to pursue projects in its national interest,” the president said at the Governor’s House after inaugurating two recently completed projects - Allai Khwar and Jinnah hydroelectric power projects of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab and a dry port at Premnagar.
The US has warned that the pipeline deal, if finalised, would raise serious concerns.
President Zardari made it clear that the project should not be seen as being “against any specific country”.
He asked the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leaders to inform people about the “bold initiative” of the government. “Since it is a big achievement of the PPP government despite US pressure, President Zardari wants us to rather build our election campaign on it,” one PPP insider told Dawn.
He said the president had also conveyed to the US that Pakistan could not abandon the project because it was aimed at meeting its energy needs.