Pakistani president says Iran-Pakistan pipeline to launch in May

Pakistani president says Iran-Pakistan pipeline to launch in May

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari said that an Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline known as the Peace Pipeline project will be launched next week on May 11, Radio Liberty reported.

Zardari said that the pipeline is aimed at meeting his country's growing energy demands.

Iran has already laid its part of the project and has pledged to help build the 750-kilometer pipeline across Pakistan.

Speaking March 4 in Lahore, Zardari said the project, estimated to cost $1.5 billion, and asked for a waiver on sanctions.

"The Iran-Pakistan pipeline project will be formally launched on March 11. Let me put my case across to the world and you. It is a project of immense importance to people of Pakistan. This project was conceived in 1994. The feasibility we have is of 1994. The world and other countries have given other nations permission to be doing business inclusive of these sanctions. So I don't see why we cannot engage with the world and make sure that the world understands our point of view, and Pakistan also gets a waiver for this project," he said.

The United States has opposed the construction of the pipeline and has warned Pakistan to "avoid activity that could result in sanctions."

"Pakistan is our priority and all our friends should understand that we do things for national interest and not for any other reason. We are not against anybody, we are not against any other issue, we are not becoming a hurdle in the world's position of their alignments and disalignments. All we want is peace, and all we want is an economic growing Pakistan," Zadari said.

The pipeline is expected to be completed in 15 months.

The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, projected to cost 1.2-1.5 billion dollars, would enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis.

Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

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