Pakistan to go ahead with Iran gas pipeline

Pakistan has said it is determined to build a gas pipeline with Iran despite the threat of US sanctions against the move.

Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari and his Iranian counterpart, president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would inaugurate the gas pipeline project near the Pakistani border town of Gabd, Baluchistan, today.

The countries would also sign a memorandum of understanding to build Pakistan's largest oil refinery at the southwestern port city of Gwadar costing $4 billion.

A Pakistan foreign office spokesman told Fox News that China had not shown any interest in the gas pipeline project, though Iran had agreed to provide Pakistan $500 million to build a third of the total length of the pipeline, which would be undertaken by an Iranian company.

Washington was strongly opposed to the project, and according to the US state department, it had made it absolutely clear to Pakistan that if the pipeline deal was finalised, it would raise serious concerns under the Iran Sanctions Act.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has rejected reports that India wanted Pakistan to seek an NOC for the construction of water reservoirs in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan including Diamer-Basha Dam.

Pakistan foreign office spokesman Moazzam Ahmed Khan said at a weekly press briefing that Pakistan did not need did not need any NOC from India regarding construction of dams.

He said that under the Indus Water Treaty, India though had an  obligation to inform Pakistan if it wanted to carry out any water-related project on rivers allocated for Pakistan.