All Options On Table To End Energy Crisis: Khar
MULTAN: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said here on Monday that Pakistan would avail itself of all available opportunities, including the Iran gas pipeline project, to overcome its energy crisis.
Ms Khar, who was addressing a press conference, said Pakistan would not depend on any one solution but would also pursue the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, besides the Iran gas.
Answering a question about US concerns over the Pak-Iran pipeline project, she said “we cannot be selective in this regard and we will complete this project to overcome the energy crisis.”
The minister said a new era of trust had begun in ties with India and an uninterrupted dialogue had improved the level of confidence.
She said the process of dialogue had remained suspended for a long time but now both countries realised that dialogue was the only option.
She said the Amroka-Bhatinda railway section between India and Pakistan would be restored if it was in the interest of Pakistan and of people of the area.
Ms Khar said foreign policy of the PPP-led government was based on developing friendly ties with all neighbouring countries, including India, China, Iran and Afghanistan. Close relations with these countries will help maintain peace in the region.
She said the executive had handed over to parliament the authority to devise foreign policy because the government believed that the policy should have public ownership.
The key to restoration of Nato supplies was with parliament which alone would take a decision about it, she added. The decision will be taken in national interest.
Ms Khar said relations with the United States were of great importance to Pakistan and were in its national interest, but these should be based on mutual respect.
She said the Nato supplies by air had never been suspended. Only the land supply route was closed in accordance with parliament’s decision.
“Pakistan wants stability in the region and does not want to create hurdles for forces of 40 countries in Afghanistan.” It was also in our interest, she said.
The Nato supply route was suspended in the best interest of the country because it was necessary to react to the attack on the Salala post.
She said Pakistan would support the dialogue between the US and Afghan Taliban.When asked about the possibility of a US attack on Iran, she said Pakistan had a clear stand on the issue. A military intervention in the region is not acceptable.
She said the recent visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Pakistan was result-oriented and he admitted that Pakistan had a very important role in the region.
She said Pakistan had suggested to the Afghan president to initiate an intra-Afghan dialogue and extended
its support in this regard because stability in the region was also in its own interest.