US supports TAPI not Pak-Iran pipeline: Olson | Pakistan Today

US supports TAPI not Pak-Iran pipeline: Olson

US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson on Tuesday said that America wants to help Pakistan to overcome its energy crisis, however, the US that pursuing of Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project by Pakistan is a breach of trust between Pakistan and the United States.

Pakistan and Iran have recently signed an agreement in Islamabad to complete the project while President Asif Ali Zardari also paid a visit to the neighboring country last week to discuss the pipeline and to extend relationships with the Iranian leadership.

Olson said “we have a clear policy over Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline,” while addressing a gathering during his visit to Tarbela Dam on Tuesday.

He said that the US is in favor of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, adding that US would also help Pakistan reduce its energy crisis if understandings with Iran are called off.

American’s State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell commenting on the project on said that “it is in Pakistan’s best interest to avoid any sanction inducing activity.

Pakistan is facing a severe energy crisis which has damaged its industrial setup specially the textile sector. “We will help Pakistan to complete Gomal Zam and Sadpara dams,” Olson concluded.

Meanwhile on Monday, Highlighting Pakistan’s growing energy needs and defending its right to explore low-cost solutions on immediate basis, President Asif Ali Zardari told the world that the gas pipeline agreement with Iran is not against any other country.

While inaugurating three different energy projects from the Governor’s House on Monday, Zardari said the energy projects, as well as the gas pipeline with Iran, should be seen as measures to overcome the power shortfall prevailing in the country.

The three projects inaugurated on Monday include the Prem Nagar Dry Port project of Pakistan Railways, the Allai Khwar hydropower project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Jinnah hydropower project in Punjab.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by Punjab Governor Ahmad Mahmood, Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Federal Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, members of parliament and Punjab Assembly, chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), members of the civil society and high-ranking officials.

GAS PIPELINE:

Presidential Spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said that Zardari, while highlighting the country’s growing energy needs for accelerating national growth, said that Pakistan needed to exploit all available resources particularly the low-cost hydropower projects, in addition to exploring the ways and means to import power and energy from its neighbouring countries. The president said that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project was one such endeavour, which would be formally launched on March 11.

The president said that Pakistan was a sovereign country and had every right to pursue projects in national interest, adding that it did not intend to offend anyone. He said that Pakistan was an active player in contributing to world peace and stability. He said that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline should be viewed purely in the context of meeting national energy needs. He hoped that the critics of the project would consider Pakistan’s energy needs.

HYDROPOWER PROJECTS:

The president said that with the addition of the Allai Khwar hydropower project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Jinnah hydropower project in Punjab, the energy shortfall would be mitigated to some extent.

He said the government had drawn up plans to not only meet the current electricity needs, but to cater for future needs as well, and was working on over two dozen hydropower projects across the country in this regard.

These include mega projects like Bhasha Dam, Neelum-Jhelum, Dasu and Tarbela 4th Extension Project, he said, adding that Gomal Zam Dam, Satpara Dam, Dubair Khwar and Jabban hydropower projects were nearing completion. Zardari said that after completion, these projects would provide 21,000 megawatts of additional electricity, and would store 13 million acre feet of water. “This will bring down the cost of manufacturing and make Pakistani products more competitive in the global market,” he said.

DRY PORT:

Inaugurating the dry port, Zardari said that it was a bold initiative of Pakistan Railways to enter vigorously into public-private partnership. The setting up of dry ports and provision of dedicated rolling stock to the private sector to operate freight trains is a bold initiative, he said.

He complimented the Railways for starting public-private partnership in vital areas including operating passenger trains and providing track access to the private sector for freight operations. He said that the addition of a dry port equipped with state-of-the-art facilities at Prem Nagar would almost double the existing capacity from four to seven million tonnes per annum. He advised the Railways management to plough the profit back into the project to further improve and expand its existing operations to meet growing demands for new tracks and extending platforms and loading areas.

He said that the private sector, by its efficient and cost-effective operations, innovative techniques and best management practices, was fully capable of producing quality goods and services, which are also cost effective. He said that the private sector was considered an engine of growth the world over, whereas the public sector plays the role of facilitator and regulator.

He said that in Pakistan too, efforts were being made to delegate the public sector the role of facilitator and regulator, which should venture only in areas dominated by concerns for public service instead of making big profits.

The president commended DP World, Premier Mercantile Services, and Pakistan Railways for entering into partnership. He said that the Prem Nagar dry port should be developed as a model hub for more such ports for inland container traffic throughout the country to reduce congestion within and near cities.

He also congratulated Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Bilour and Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and their teams, and praised the work and dedication of Chinese and Austrian project consultants and contractors, who he said rendered valuable assistance in the completion of these projects and hoped that the remaining projects would also be completed expeditiously.



8 Comments

  1. Muhammad Younus Butt said:

    for the la now when last 5 years,America was watching the hardshipps of Pakistani nation,when need help to overcome the difficulties,America avoided.but now pakistan wished and moved to other countries for help.immediately America blocked the way which is not reasonable.Pakistan is not a slave state of U.S.A.MIND IT U.S.A Pakistan is an independent country and donations or aids do not mean to buy Pakistan.America must be positive and not be jealous of Pak-Iran gas pipeline agreement.If U.S.A wants to be friend,let freindship prevails not slavery.

  2. Furqan Ali Manzoor said:

    Su*ker USA,

    We are sick of your crap now. Plz SHUT THE F UP!

    Worst Regards,
    Proud Pakistani

  3. Furqan Ali said:

    Su*ker America,

    We are sick and tired of your crap now. Plz SHUT THE F UP!

    Worst Regards,
    Pakistani

  4. Javaid Bashir said:

    U.S has no right to disuade Pakistan from going a head with Pak Iran Gas Pipe line projeci. Pakistan has been facing worst kind of energy Crisis,for a long period of time. We are living in dark ages without electricity and Gas but to no avail. Nobody has come forward to help us. Now when we have signed the sgreement with Iran ,America has problem with it.. I can not divine any reason for this criticism m and threat of sanctions coming from Mr. Olson The US ambasador. He has openly expressed American opposition to the said project. for which an agreement hasjust been concluded and signed by none other than President Zardari himself . President Zardari rightfully told the world that it should be seen in the light of energy Crisis faced by us. It is in our national interest that we have signed the agreement. We are a sovereign State and have every right to do so All projects in furtherance of our needs of energy.
    Iran is our brothern country and we have cordial relations with her. Nobody should have any ill feelings about this project
    Well done Mr. President, we appreciate this daring approavh and bold stand on an issue of national importane..
    Thanks Again.

    Javsid Bashir
    Lahore

  5. Shakil Khokhar said:

    TAPI because thats why US is in Afghanistan! Pakistan will not have any thing against TAPI too, but that pipeline has to cross two countries before entering Pakistan so Pakistan has to pay transit charges to Afghanistan on top of gas price! Now thats not payable at all in case of Iran only the gas price. TAPI is also far fetched plans and depend on Afghanistan peace and agreement and no way near completion on the other hand Iran pipeline is already at Pakistan border!

    Pakistan needs of energy resources cant only rely on Iran Pakistan pipeline and surely TAPI will also help, TAPI line is more focused on export through Gwadar port!

    Every country should have diverse sources of energy without relying on single source!

  6. Israr Ahmed said:

    Mr. Olson, do you remember Rhodesia which is now Zimbawe. When the whole world imposed sanctions on this aprthied regime, U.S was the only country which did not adhere to the sanctions. The plea U.S took was Rhodesia had some very important mineral which the U.S need and thus it was a matter of National Security.

    Now Pakistan's national security is at risk becuase of the energy shortage and that is the reason we are following our own national interest. Please do not lecture us when we work for our own national interest.

    Thanks.

    Israr Ahmed

  7. S.R.H. Hashmi said:

    The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said recently "In America you have the right to be stupid if you want to be" What he did not say was that the Americans have a right to be stupid even while operating outside US borders. I came to this unfortunate conclusion while reading the statement by US ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, that America wants to help Pakistan to overcome its energy crisis. However, the pursuing by Pakistan of Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project has breached the trust between Pakistan and the United States.

    What the gentleman failed to appreciate was that for a breach to occur, there has got to be trust in the first place, and only a fool could describe the relations between the two countries to be based on trust, now or at any time in the past.

    The gentleman added "The US would also help Pakistan reduce its energy crisis if understandings with Iran are called off" which means that Americans have also been given the right to be arrogant. What a combination: stupidity mixed with arrogance.

    – Karachi

  8. PoliticallyIncorrect said:

    Why not both?

    Have the IP pipeline as well as the TAP pipeline running through Pakistan which means more money and opportunities for the country.

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