"The Pak-Iran gas pipeline is not a good idea, as Iran is unreliable" said US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter on Friday, according to Pakistani news sources.
Ambassador added, that plan to get gas from Turkmenistan is a "better idea". Addressing students at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Ambassador's Forum, Munter said, that making a deal with Iran would be a bad idea and Pakistan should work with Turkmenistan instead. He added that a strong Pakistan was in the interest of the US.
Earlier, it has been reported that Turkmenistan had agreed with Pakistan on the price of gas it plans to send via an ambitious pipeline from its prospective natural gas fields through Afghanistan.
Turkmenistan, which sits on the world's fourth-largest natural gas reserves, wants to build the trans-Afghan pipeline as part of its plans to diversify sales from Russia to energy markets in Asia and Europe. It aims to supply natural gas from its South Iolotan field, the world's second-largest, to Pakistan and India. The idea of the pipeline, known as TAPI, was first raised in the mid-1990s, but construction has yet to begin.
The proposed 1,700-km pipeline could carry 1 trillion cubic metres of Turkmen gas over a 30-year period, which would work out at 33 billion cubic metres a year.
edited by: S. Isayev