State Dept says Pak-US discussions continue on Iran gas pipeline project

State Dept says Pak-US discussions continue on Iran gas pipeline project

“We do not have a comment on the details of diplomatic discussions,” State Dept spokesperson says

Workers and supervisors are seen at the site of the gas pipeline between Pakistan and Iran. — AFP/File
  • State Dept refuses to share “details of diplomatic discussions”.
  • Helping Pakistan address energy shortage crisis is priority for US.
  • Islamabad postpones plan to file appeal against US sanctions.

WASHINGTON: A day after the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project gets a go-ahead from the caretaker cabinet, the State Department Wednesday said Washington continues to discuss the project with Pakistan’s government, but the spokesperson refused to comment on the “details of diplomatic discussions”.

The spokesperson’s remarks came in response to a question on the resumption of the project and whether it was still a concern for the US.

The State Department maintained that helping Pakistan address its energy shortage crisis is a priority for the US.

“We have supported the addition of approximately 4,000 MW of energy capacity in Pakistan. Our projects have dramatically increased the nation’s electricity capacity — today powering the homes of more than 50 million Pakistanis,” said the spokesperson.

Sharing details of the US-Pakistan Green Alliance, a transformative initiative between the two countries, the State Department said Washington is working with Islamabad to address “today’s most pressing environmental challenges, especially around water management, climate-smart agriculture, and renewable energy”.

The aforementioned statement by the State Department comes after the caretaker government approved the postponement of its plan to file an appeal against the US sanctions under the Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline project, The News reported today.

The decision was made due to the current geopolitical situation.

According to sources, the decisions made by the Ministerial Oversight Committee regarding the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project have been approved.

The Petroleum Division prepared the summary based on the decisions of the Ministerial Oversight Committee. Though the final draft of the application was prepared, the plan to submit it to the US authorities has now been postponed. The Petroleum Division has prepared a summary based on the decisions of the committee, which has been approved.

A day earlier, the caretaker federal cabinet committee has approved the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project with plans to complete it in a year, marking it a major development with hopes for boosting the country’s energy security.

The federal cabinet, on February 23, approved a summary through circulation to ratify an earlier decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Energy greenlighting the project that has seen more than a decade’s delay.

The 1931-kilometers-long gas pipeline project is likely to be completed in one year and will cost $158 million. Out of total length, 1150 kilometres of the pipeline will be laid inside Iran and the remaining in Pakistan up to Gwadar.

It may be pointed out here that Iran had already completed the laying of a 900-kilometre pipeline. The project agreement was signed in 2009 and was to be completed in 2015.

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