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Pak to proceed with India-Iran gas pipeline

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says he will go ahead with Iran-India gas pipeline project for national interest.

world Updated: Aug 14, 2007 12:13 IST

President Pervez Musharraf has said Pakistan will go ahead with the Iran-India gas pipeline project "in its own national interest".

Musharraf was speaking on Monday evening during a special programme "Aiwan-e-Sadr Se" (from the presidency), attended by a select group of people, to mark the 60th independence anniversary of Pakistan.

Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day on Tuesday.

Musharraf dispelled the impression that Pakistan was following "dictations" from other countries on the issue of gas pipeline. The US does not want India and Pakistan to buy gas from Iran.

All policies of the government "are pro-Pakistan and not determined by any other state", Musharraf said.

"Pakistan is pursuing its policies in the national interest, and the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project is one of the examples."

Reiterating his "Pakistan first" policy, Musharraf said he saw everything from his country's point of view.

Pakistan did not send troops to Iraq despite Washington's request "as it was not in our national interest", he said.

Seeking support from the people to crush terrorism, he said the fight against terror was "in the national interest of Pakistan and not to serve any other country's interests.

"We must fight and defeat Al Qaida who are spawning terrorism in the world including Pakistan."

He urged Pakistani people to rise against extremism and help the state overcome the challenge because the "government alone cannot succeed in defeating the menace".

Referring to anti-Islamabad statements from the US, Musharraf said President George W. Bush had called him to assure that his country would always honour the sovereignty of Pakistan.

First Published: Aug 14, 2007 12:09 IST