Gilani reverses stance on Iran sanctions
23 June 2010
Yesterday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani retracted his statement that Islamabad would abide by US sanctions on Iran which he gave just 24 hours earlier. On Monday, Gilani had said that Pakistan would respect the imminent US sanctions on Iran as opposition to Iran’s nuclear programme.
However, Gilani later clarified his statement: “As far as the US is concerned, we’re not bound to follow it,” he said while speaking at a ceremony in Islamabad. “If these are UN (sanctions) then according to international laws, we’ll consider them.”
Pakistan’s sanctions on Iran would have a disastrous impact on the $7.6 billion Pak-Iran gas pipeline project which is currently underway. This project is seen as vital to remedy Pakistan’s acute energy crisis where the country is facing a shortage of 5,000 megawatts per day.
However, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke warned Islamabad on Sunday against committing too deeply to the natural gas pipeline project because of the expected effects of the sanctions.