Iran nuclear deal to pave way for IP gas project: Pakistan

Islamabad, Aug 6, IRNA — Pakistan foreign office (ministry of foreign affairs) spokesperson says Iran nuclear deal will pave the way for greater economic interaction between Iran and Pakistan including the gas pipeline.
Responding to a question by IRNA on the latest comments by a US official on the gas pipeline project, at a weekly news briefing, Qazi Khalilullah said, ‘The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is at early stage of implementation and once sanctions on Iran are lifted the country and Pakistan would have a greater economic cooperation including the gas pipeline.

The US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner had earlier said that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project will not yet benefit from the nuclear agreement that may ease economic sanctions on Tehran.

To another question by IRNA on the fate of Pakistani analyst and journalist Zaid Hamid imprisoned by Saudi Arabia, he said: ‘On 28th of July wife of Zaid Hamid (a Pakistani analyst sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment and 1,000 lashes in Saudi Arabia over his anti-Saudi and Anti-Zionist comments over a months ago) was able to meet him again with the assistance of Pakistani embassy.

Some unconfirmed reports say Zaid Hamid will be freed soon.

“I have not seen any such reports about his freedom, however, as soon as we get any news (about Zaid Hamid’s release) we will share it with media.

He also announced that the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif will be leaving for Belarus on August 10 at the invitation of the President Alexander Lukashenko.
“This would be the first ever visit by a Pakistani prime minister to the republic of Belarus,” said the Pakistani official.

Qazi Khalilullah added that the Prime Minister will hold talks with top officials of Belarus.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had paid a two-day visit to Pakistan in the month of May and met Pakistani leadership for developing political and economic relations between the two countries.

To another question, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson said that India has proposed meeting of the National Security Advisors of both countries in New Delhi on 23rd and 24th of August. “These dates are under consideration of our government and it is premature to talk on agenda which will be prepared in due course,” he said.
To a question on Afghanistan peace talks, he said that Pakistan is only playing the role of a facilitator in Afghan peace talks and we will keep on playing this role. “It is for Afghans to decide the dates and agenda for talks,” he said.

Qazi Khalilulla answering a question said that he was not aware of Moscow-Karachi gas pipeline project adding that Russia is interested in gas pipeline project from Karachi to Lahore. “Both sides are in touch in this regards,” he said.