Pakistan has no option but to buy gas from Iran.

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Murtaza Mughal, President of Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW), ہn Wednesday, condemned the US threat to impose sanctions on Pakistan in case of trade with Iran, terming it interference in internal matters. It said Pakistan should make decisions according to its interests and ignore what is in the interest of the US. There is no other choice for Pakistan but to purchase gas from Iran or face a fine of twenty billion dollars, it added. 

In a statement issued here today, Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the threat of US sanctions should not be taken very seriously as dozens of countries from the American block are already trading with Iran. 

The US has no objection to dozens of countries doing trade with Iran, but when it comes to Pakistan, it start issuing threats which are condemnable, he said. 

Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the American double standard adopted towards Pakistan is no longer acceptable as it is highly damaging to the economy.

He said that Pakistan’s Afghan policy was not compatible with American interests, but it was continued for decades. Similarly, defence cooperation with China does not go down well with the Americans, but it continues successfully. 

He added that the CPEC was also unacceptable to the US and its allies but is being finalised quickly. In many cases, decisions have been made in the country’s interest against the American will, and importing gas from Iram should also be such a decision. 

Gas purchase from Iran is critically vital for Pakistan’s economy, and we have no other option as refusal to buy gas will result in a fine of 20 billion dollars, which Pakistan can not pay, he underlined.

Dr. Mughal said that there is no doubt that America is a significant country. It is one of the largest trade partners and export destinations and among the largest investors in Pakistan. 

Pakistan’s exports and remittances also depend on the countries included in the American camp, and the international institutions that lend to Pakistan also make decisions under the influence of the United States.

He said that despite this, Pakistan should continue trying to achieve its interests because we cannot make every policy according to American intentions. 

If the friction between America and China increases and America asks Pakistan to withdraw from defence cooperation with China, stop CPEC, and stop building dams with Chinese collaboration, will this demand also be accepted? he questioned. He was all praise for the recent visit of the Iranian President to Pakistan, during which trade was at the top of the agenda, and he expressed his goal to see yearly trade reach $10 billion. 

He said that the imposition of sanctions and the absence of appropriate banking channels constitute a significant barrier to expanding bilateral commerce between the two countries.

Expanding the number of border markets can deliver socioeconomic opportunities to communities on both sides.

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