Pak-Iran gas project aims at national progress: President Zardari

LAHORE: Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari said on Saturday that the recent foreign policy initiatives, namely Pak-Iran gas pipeline and entrusting Gawadar Port to China, were aimed at securing and guaranteeing the prosperity of our future generations.

He was talking to leading journalists, editors and media persons of print and electronic media during a dinner hosted by the President at Bilawal House, Lahore, on Saturday night.

Governor Punjab Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmud, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain, MOS for Information and Broadcasting Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar and Secretary Information Agha Nadeem were among the attendees of the dinner.

Talking  about President’s interaction with the media persons, the president’s spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that during the meeting host of issues ranging from domestic issues to the foreign policy issue were candidly discussed and the President answered various questions raised by the media persons.

The President said that during his recent visit to Iran, he met his Iranian counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenaei and both the sides agreed upon the need for expeditious completion of all mega projects including the Pak-Iran Gas pipeline which he said will not only help the country in mitigating the gas and energy shortages faced by the country but would go a long way to benefit the coming generations of Pakistan.

President Zardari said the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project will be formally inaugurated on 11th March in Iranian city of Chahbahar, where dignitaries from regional countries have also been invited. He said that he will take along a group of journalists with him to witness the ceremony.

About the reported objections emanating against the gas deal from some quarters, the President said Pakistan was a sovereign country and it was acting in its national interest.

The President said that Pakistan did not want confrontation with anyone and firmly believes that negotiations and dialogue were the best tool to create greater understandings of the issues.

Spokesperson said that the President also referred transfer of Gwadar port operation from Singapore to China as another project of great economic value and said that with this transfer Gwadar port will become hub of trade and commence activities in the region and beyond and will bring progress and prosperity to the people of Balochistan and economic gains for rest of the country.

Replying to a question as to why the development of Gawadar Port was entrusted to China at this point of time, the President said that the Government did not waste any time and went ahead with the project as soon as the Court’s stay order was vacated in this case.

By Dawn


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