Pak says no to US dictates on Iran pipeline issue

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Islamabad, Apr.11 (ANI): Pakistan has said it would not note down dictates from the United States pertaining to its relationship and cooperation in energy sector with Iran.

Addressing a regular briefing, Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Abdul Basit said Islamabad has already signed an agreement over the gas pipeline project (IP pipeline) with Tehran and would continue to cooperation in all fields with it.

"We would like to have cooperation with Iran in all areas. If there are opportunities, Pakistan will pursue those. We have concluded the IP gas pipeline project with Iran. ... This is our sovereign decision and the government of Pakistan will take decisions only in consonance with its own national interests," The Dawn quoted Basit, as saying.

The statement comes on the eve of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the nuclear security summit, which is scheduled to take place in Washington on April 12 and 13.

The Obama Administration has been advising Pakistan against entering into gas pipeline agreement with Iran.

"We do not think it is the right time for doing this kind of transaction with Iran," US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake had said recently.

Blake said America has asked Pakistan to seek alternatives for pipeline project because of a dispute over Iran's nuclear programme.

Basit also hinted that Pakistan does not want Iran to be censured in the upcoming two-day nuclear summit.

"We have been actively involved in the preparatory process of the nuclear security summit and I can tell you that its outcome will not be country specific," he said.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to strike a delicate balance in its relations with the US and Iran, Pakistan has decided to attend the international disarmament conference convened by Tehran on April 17 and 18. (ANI)

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