Pakistan cannot solve its energy crisis without Iranian gas.

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Dr Muhammad Hanif Mughal, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Shadbad, said on Sunday that Pakistan has not found a solution to its energy crisis during the last few decades and cannot resolve the energy problem without importing gas from Iran. He said that opposition from the United States to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project and threats of penalties are both deplorable. He added that it would be in Pakistan’s best interest to strengthen its relations with Iran and overcome different challenges by joining hands.

In a statement issued today, Dr Hanif Mughal said that if gas is not taken from Iran, a fine of eighteen billion dollars may be imposed, which Pakistan cannot afford in the current economic situation. Under these circumstances, he said the continued opposition to the gas pipeline by the United States is reprehensible and without justification. Many countries, including China, India, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, Greece, Iraq, and Turkey, buy oil and gas from Iran on which the US remains silent.

However, Pakistan is not allowed to do so and is threatened with sanctions, which is tantamount to double standards and hostility towards Pakistan. He said that recently, the United States again opposed the gas pipeline project and warned Pakistan of its serious consequences. He said that Pakistan should explain the importance of the pipeline because, without cheap gas, the country’s economy is constantly affected.

He underlined that one billion cubic feet of gas per day could be brought to Pakistan through the Iran pipeline, changing Pakistan’s energy landscape and improving relations between the two countries.

He stressed that given Iran’s abundant gas resources and our pressing need, there is no justification for delay and that a policy centred on prioritising relations with neighbours is imperative. Many banks fear their involvement in financing the IP project will result in significant hurdles and invite US wrath. Some experts believe such projects cannot be completed due to economic weaknesses and continued reliance on the IMF.

He said Pakistan and Iran should work together to solve the common challenge and increase air and trade links. To increase trade, it is essential to open banking channels.

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