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No one should have reservations on pipeline: Pak

india Updated: Jun 19, 2006 16:05 IST
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The proposed gas pipeline from Iran to India through Pakistan was in the greater interest of the region and "no one" should have any reservations on it, Pakistan Prime Minister has said, dismissing the view that the US was a "hurdle" in its execution.

The US had publicly expressed its opposition to the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons ambitions.

But speaking to journalists on Sunday, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said, "I disagree with those who term the US a hurdle in this regard."

"The construction of a gas pipeline from Iran to India through Pakistan is in the greater interest of the region and no one should have any reservations on that," he told a meeting organised by South Asian Free Media Association.

"We have to meet our future energy requirements and if three countries are clear about their interests, then there will be no hurdle in its execution. If a fourth country had a different view on the project, it could be convinced because this project makes sense to the people of this region."

Noting that energy diplomacy has become a very complex issue, Aziz said, "but we must pursue our national interest."

"This region has the largest energy reserves and we have to explore and exploit them as this is our future requirement. If there are some challenges vis-a-vis execution of the project, that does not mean that those challenges cannot be overcome," he said.

Funding for the multi-million dollar pipeline would not be a problem, he said adding "this is a peace pipeline and there will be various sources to fund this project."

He also said security was not an issue as every country knew how to protect its national assets.

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