The Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Is Going Nowhere
September 30, 2023 / By Zunair Tahir / Pakistan News
The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline isn’t moving forward despite several promises from succeeding governments that the plan is still on the table. Foreign parties who do not want to see the pipeline finished are the main opponents of the project.
This unsettling truth was brought to light once more during a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday, when representatives informed members that “commercial and foreign concerns” were impeding the project’s long-awaited conclusion.
The US and, to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia are the foreign quarters in question because they are concerned about Pakistan’s growing economic connections with Iran from a geopolitical standpoint. Commercial issues, such as gas price, project finance, etc., can be discussed bilaterally with Iran.
However, Pakistan is finding it difficult to allay the worries that our international allies have regarding the initiative.
Pakistan’s reputation for upholding international responsibilities is not particularly favorable given the scheme’s ambiguity and lack of commitment.
In its last days, the PDM administration had reassured the people that attempts were being taken to get exemptions from the US for the project in order to avoid possible penalties.
When the next elected administration becomes power, they must approach this matter decisively while putting the needs of the country first. There is little doubt that Pakistan needs inexpensive gas to power its infrastructure and economy.
However, a weak economy cannot support crippling sanctions. In order to convey to the US that Pakistan must respect its promise to Iran, a legally sound diplomatic strategy must be adopted.
In the same way that the yuan was used to purchase Russian oil, various currencies can be utilized if obtaining dollars to fund the plan proves challenging.
Will we comply if Washington demands us to stop these and other plans endorsed by China in the future? We have two options when it comes to the pipeline.
We can either move forward with it and other beneficial plans for the nation, or we can continue to delay it, risk tumultuous international arbitration, and prepare to pay millions of dollars in fines.
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