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US Objects To Pakistan’s Gas Pipeline Deal With Iran

April 2, 2010

Why would US like any progress towards solving people’s problem in Pakistan? They have always wanted a subjugated, weak and dependent Pakistan and they would never want Pakistan to take practical measures to solve its age-old problems.

WASHINGTON: The United States urged Pakistan on Thursday to reconsider its deal with Iran for building a multi-billion-dollar pipeline intended to bring the much-needed natural gas to the energy starved country.

“We do not think it is the right time for doing this kind of transaction with Iran,” US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake told a briefing in Washington.

Mr Blake, who looks after South and Central Asian affairs at the State Department, returned this week from a trip to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Belgium where he discussed the current situation in South Asia with his European colleagues as well. The US official told reporters at a briefing in Washington that the issue of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline was raised in his meetings in Pakistan, particularly in public discussions.

“We have advised Pakistan to seek other alternatives,” he added, explaining that because of Iran’s dispute with the international community over its nuclear programme, the US opposed large investments in any Iranian project.

Pakistan and Iran signed an operational agreement for the proposed pipeline on March 16, a month after the signing was delayed because Islamabad was unable to arrange funds for the project.

The pipeline was initially mooted to carry gas from Iran to Pakistan and on to India. India withdrew from negotiations last year after signing a nuclear deal with the United States, but has kept open the option of rejoining the project at a later stage.

On Thursday, Pakistan said it would provide India with security guarantees for the pipeline from the South Pars gas complex in Iran as an incentive to join the project.

Referring to these problems, Mr Blake said the project still faced “many challenges.”

When a reporter asked if the US would also advise India not to join the pipeline project, Mr Blake said: “This is a very sensitive time in relations with Iran and we prefer that all countries avoid such transactions with Iran.”

Water Crisis

At the briefing, Pakistani journalists were particularly concerned about a potentially explosive dispute between India and Pakistan over water and they put several questions to the US official on this issue.

Mr Blake said the US would not get involved “in bilateral issues” between India and Pakistan. “We think the World Bank is the right place” for resolving such disputes.

The United States, however, will help both countries in developing their water resources.

On Thursday, an influential US newspaper — Wall Street Journal — reported that the water feud between India and Pakistan was threatening to derail peace talks between the two neighbours.

The countries have harmoniously shared the waters of the Indus River for decades. A 50-year-old treaty regulating access to water from the river and its tributaries has been viewed as a bright spot for India and Pakistan.

Now, Pakistan complains that India is hogging water upstream, which is hurting Pakistani farmers downstream. Pakistani officials say they will soon begin formal arbitration over a proposed Indian dam.

At a meeting that started on Sunday, Pakistan raised objections to new Indian dam projects on the Indus River and asked for satellite monitoring of river flows.

India denies it is violating the treaty. New Delhi blames Pakistan’s water shortage on changing weather patterns and the country’s poor water management.

The latest dispute revolves around India’s plans to build a 330-megawatt hydroelectric power project on the Kishenganga River, a tributary of the Indus. India says it is well within its rights to build the dam.

Pakistan says New Delhi’s plans to divert the course of the river will reduce its flow by a third in the winter. That would make it unfeasible for Pakistan to move ahead with its own plans for a hydroelectric dam downstream.

Pakistan wants to put the Kishenganga project before an arbitration panel—the first time that mechanism of the treaty will have been used.

Mr Blake also referred to this panel, set up under the Indus Water Treaty, and hoped that they would be able to resolve this dispute through arbitration as they did in the past.

He told the briefing that the water dispute came up at every meeting he had in Pakistan.

Mr Blake said that both India and Pakistan were facing acute water shortages because of their rapidly increasing populations and expanding economies.

“So the water issue is a real challenge for both.”

Pakistan, he said, needed to change it irrigation practices and offered US assistance to help overcome the problem.

Anti-India Militant Groups:

Mr Blake called on Pakistan to curb anti-India militants, praising Islamabad’s recent efforts against extremism but saying it could do more to improve ties with New Delhi, adds AFP

Blake hailed the “enormous” progress in Pakistan in fighting Muslim extremists, pointing to its offensives against Taliban in its restive northwest and recent arrests of militant leaders.

“I think one can argue there is a lot of important progress that has been made but we think there also needs to be progress against these Punjab-based groups,” Blake told reporters.

He was referring to groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Moham-med.

Blake said that Punjab-based militants “are targeting Pakistan as well,” pointing to attacks in Lahore including a deadly 2009 ambush on Sri Lanka’s visiting cricket team.

Blake said he also relayed to Pakistan the concerns of New Delhi that militants were infiltrating India to carry out attacks.

“I reminded them that from 2004 to 2007 both of those countries made quite important progress in their bilateral relations, and that progress was made possible in part by the significant efforts the government of Pakistan made at the time to stop cross-border infiltration,” he said.

Dawn News

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16 comments

  1. Mr. Blake should be reminded that pakistan is not a US state so if we are working in equal terms then the US should realise that pakistan is a sovereign nation and free to deal with any country for its interest. If pakistan tells US that it should not go ahead with the nuclear deal with india, would the US listen to pakistan?? of course not they did not and US only looks after its own interest. So why can’t we the pakistan can do the same and on any transactions pakistan want to do america has to poke its nose in it. Do we do that to them? no we don’t but even if we do america would not give a damn to pakistan concerns just as what they are doing in relation to india on Kashmir and water now. Well pakistan should put a conditon on US that yes we will cancel the deal with iran on Gas if the US cancels its deal on nuclear with india and totally cease their relationship with indian terrorist state who is involved in terror attacks in pakistan and US very well knows about it. After all we are the long standing allies of US. If US cannot meet our condition then they should keep themselves out of the business of iran and pakistan and let the other nation live their own life. Thank you very much Mr. Blake please just mind your own business. Thanks – Pakistani


  2. Iran is a Muslim country, don’t isolate a Muslim.
    I have this story about the 4 bulls, one was white and three were black. They would live in a jungle with wolves all around them and the wolves would attack them every night. But because they were united so the wolves would fail. One day 3 black bulls gathered and being fed up from constant attacks decided to isolate the white bull saying that it is his color which gives away our location. That same night the wolves took down the “white Bull” and was shared by the whole pack. The next night now it was easier for the bulls to tackle the three bulls. Every night one bull was taken down. When the wolves were about to kill the last black bull they asked him so tell us who will save you from us now, where are your brothers now, the last Black Bull said no one and my fate was decided the same day I let my brother be your first meal.

    ALLAH has warned us again and again but we don’t seem to understand.

    “O believers, do not take the Jews and the Christians as your friends and protectors, they are friends of each other. And whoever makes them a friend then he is from amongst them. Verily God does not guide the unjust people. And you will see that those (Muslims) in whose hearts is a disease run towards them saying ‘We fear that a calamity may befall us.’ So God will soon bring victory or a decision from Him, causing them regret on account of the thoughts they harbored in their hearts.” (Quran 5:51-52)


    • I think that our story too was written on that day when we allowed iraq to b attacked.Its only ALLAH who can save us now.


      • @ Aam’alokum, Ummalokum
        Iraqians are already punished, invading
        forces genocided 1.5 millions Iraqian civilians, there are 40.000 black waters
        kind of mercenarries send by USA, France
        & UK.
        Hospitals, mortuaries, dead body collections, graveyards, family consensus
        departement, Ministry of health & family can confirm. etc etc.

        No, YOU WRITE UR OWN HISTORY, THE OTHERS
        WOULD ONLY LIE ABOUT U,
        I think Iraqian can still stand up against
        the zionist oil thieves alliances, & KILL
        the shit out of them, but courrage & belief is absent just like Pakistanis,
        we can always say, now its only Allah who can save us, those who were against HIM.


    • You cannot clap with one hand.Iran is more closer to India than Pakistan.Moreover,Iran has its own agenda.

      Yousuf Kazzab can be received in audience of the Supreme Leader(this was disclosed during Kazzab affair recently) while one of former President could not.


      • I don’t care what is Iran’s agenda. I know Iranians are our brothers in Islam. I have one event I will share with you, during the time of Muhammad (SAW) Khalid bin Waleed was sent to one expedition and during the war he mistakenly killed some Muslims, when in fact during war they had surrendered and accepted Islam. When the news got to Muhammad(SAW), he was very upset with Khalid bin Waleed and said how can you kill them when they had accepted Islam, Khalid replied that yes they accepted Islam but in fear of my sword and they didn’t mean it. Muhammad(SAW) said Oh Khalid did you open their chest and see what is in their heart. Then Muhammad(SAW) raised his hands to heavens and prayed Allah to be a witness that I do not approve of what Khalid did and I am not a part of it all.
        So my friend who are we to judge what is concealed in hearts. Any brother can have differences as our history shows but it doesn’t change the fact that they say
        “La illa ha illlah Muhammadan rasoolAllah”
        that is what unite us as one Ummah.


  3. Our leaders need to learn how to say ‘NO’ to such imperialists. It is in our NATIONAL INTEREST to get oil from Iran. There are dozens of dimensions to a Pak-Iran transaction succeeding. We must continue dealing with Iran for the sake of our own regional security and forging a small defence bloc.


  4. Americans do not want to get involved in Pakistan-India bilateral issues but find it perfectly easy to get involved in Pakistan-Iran bilateral relationships.

    This is a joke!!

    Americans are not interested in having a nuclear energy deal with us after all we have done for them ruining our country in the process, they are not interested in talking to India regarding water management and they do not want us to buy energy from our neighbour.

    The fourth option would be to send a fleet to the Gulf and occupy Iraq. But wait, that option has been used by another party!

    Americans can not be trusted!


  5. @Mr Bleak should worry more about co2 gas
    discharged by USA which is a global giant
    pollutor of the planet before India !
    Stop genocide of Muslims,
    Gas yourselves with the pipeline u don’t like !
    IRAN & PAKISTAN ARE SOVEREIGN STATES,
    FUCK OFF USA


  6. USA CANNOT DICTATE TERMS TO PAKISTAN-THEN WHY NOT MEDIATE IN KASJMIR DISPUTE
    ALL THIS FUSS IS BECAUSE OF ZARDARI BEING AN AMERICAN AGENT .EVEN PAK ARMY CHIEF WORKS ON THE DICTATS OF USA WHILE AS THE ISI CHIEF HAPPENS TO BE AN INDIAN AGENT BECAUSE HE COULD NOT PROVE HIMSELF ABLE TO STOP INDIAN TERRORISM IN PAKISTAN


  7. First of all, Pakistanis need to shed their habit of getting panicked by the statements from third or fourth level US officials such as this one from US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake. It suffices to respond such a statement at FO spokesperson level.

    Second, given the acute energy crisis in Pakistan, only an insane Pakistani leadership would take US assurances of full support seriously and abandon the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project. The project is in advance stage of signing with most of the modalities already settled. As planned, the gas would start flowing through the pipeline to Pakistan in 2014. Americans would not even finish the talks (read “conditions and strings”) for their cooperation (or imaginary ‘full support’) by then if Pakistan start towing their advice. In the mean time, Pakistanis would keep suffering from acute shortage of electricity.

    If westerns have a problem with Iran, it is their own business. Pakistan should urge them to try a negotiated settlement with Iran but Pakistan should not try to intervene in the issue (just like they urge Pakistan and India to negotiate and refuse to intervene in the dispute of J&K). Like they do not sacrifice their relations with India for Pakistan’s sake, why then these hypocrite westerners expect that Pakistan would sacrifice its relations with Iran for west’s sake. It is probably the right time of some plain speaking by Pakistan.


  8. Iran Pakistan pipeline is a secondary issue and we must get on with it as we are already.

    The more central and pressing issue is the Punjabi Taleban. The proliferation of countless
    Madressahs in the Punjab during Zia ul Haque’s imprudent era of aiding and abetting the
    Afghan War against the Soviets ,at the beck and call of the Americans and the Saudis is a fact.
    The ruling clique at that time ingratiated themselves with millions of Funds and encouraged
    the Klashnikov Culture. It was also during that time that the Military dictator spawned
    Closet Talebans led by Nawaz and Shabaz Sharif who owe their political origins to Zia ,and on whose death
    the Sharifs publicly vowed tearfully to carry on his mission and agenda.

    Since then misled extremist outfits like the Lashkar i Tayyeba and Jhangvi flourished and continue
    to provide a strategic depth to the Taleban right inside the heartland of Pakistan and as the staging ground
    for cross border terrorism like the Mumbai incident.
    In the process Pakistan continues to suffer with repeated terrorist bombings entailing thousands of deaths and
    wearing out our security services at an irreparable cost to the nation.
    The Sharifs continue to exploit the vote bank of such Punjabi Taleban to consolidate their position in the Parliament
    through elections and bye elections like the recent ones in Rawalpindi and Gujrat.

    Never ever have the Sharifs condemned the Taleban ( as a matter of fact their leaders hobnob publicly with such
    extremists to secure their votes and have had meetings with their leaders regularly ). More recently Shahbaz had the audacity
    to appeal to the Taleban to spare the Punjab alone ( the rest of Pakistan may be valid targets for suicide killings )
    The ongoing Army action in the Frontier areas was initially opposed by the Sharifs till such time as the Parliament left them with no choice
    but to support the Resolution eventually.

    Robert Blake is spot on in exposing this and unless we address this serious issue honestly and urgently, future Drone attacks in the Punjab will find
    their own legitimacy. The choice is ours.


  9. Americans can never be trusted!


  10. Looking at Mr. Blake’s photo seems like Mush the tabla sarangi mirasi is playing his tabla and Mr. Blake is singing a song. Ja ray ja main tohay nahin boloon. Just see the photo once again and it will confirm what I am saying.


    • Apna hee apnon ko pahchanta hai.


      • Mr. nonsense you always talk nonsense your army is scared of entering in the forest because the MAOIST REBELS will kill them – cowards.



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