Tag Archive: Asif Ali Zardari

Building IP pipeline starts in March despite US threats: Pakistan

Press TV

File photo shows a construction site of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

File photo shows a construction site of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.
Fri Mar 1, 2013 2:28PM GMT

An unnamed Pakistani official confirmed on Friday that an Iranian-Pakistani consortium will start working on the gas pipeline as of March 11, 2013.

The date was announced after Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari held several meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran earlier this week.

The pipeline will enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters (mcm) of Iran’s natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis. Iran has already built more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

Pakistan faces a crushing energy crisis which has caused difficulties in financing the pipeline which stretches from the border between the two countries to Nawabshah region in Pakistan.

Washington has repeatedly voiced its discontent with the joint project, but Pakistan has constantly dismissed rumors that it might pull out of the project amid efforts by the United States to convince the country to abandon the pipeline.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal said in a report that the United States had threatened Pakistan with stringent sanctions if it goes through the project.

“Washington has made it clear that it will impose economic sanctions on Islamabad if it begins to buy gas from Iran. Besides, the UN has mandated sanctions on any trade with the oil-rich country,” the report added.

Iran, the second largest owner of gas reserves in the world after Russia, has said it will provide USD500 million to help Pakistan build the pipeline on its side of the border.

Managing-Director of the National Iranian Gas Company Javad Owji said on February 26 that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is expected to be constructed in 22 months on the Pakistani soil with the participation of Iran.


Wars and Rumors of War

War on terror :  Unmanned Drones – Collateral Damage – Costs of War

US terror drone strike kills 5 in NW Pakistan

A US assassination drone (file Photo)

A US assassination drone (file Photo)
At least five people have been killed in Pakistan in a US assassination drone attack that targeted a compound in North Waziristan tribal region, security officials say.

The attack took place in Hurmuz area, Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan tribal region, in the early hours of Wednesday.

“Several US drones flew into the area before dawn and fired four missiles on a compound, killing five militants,” a security official told AFP after the strike.

Another security official in the northwestern city of Peshawar also confirmed the attack and the casualties.

In late September, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly said that US assassination drone strikes are counter-productive and asked Washington to end the strikes on the country’s tribal areas.

Pakistani tribal regions are the target of US terror drones, with Washington claiming that its unmanned aircraft are targeting militants. However, casualty figures clearly indicate that Pakistani civilians are the main victims of the assaults.

The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, in the strikes has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, prompting Pakistani officials to send warnings to the US administration over the assaults.

Despite Pakistani government’s repeated calls on Washington to end the drone attacks, the US government continues its strikes on the tribal regions of the country.

The aerial attacks were initiated by former US President George W. Bush, but have escalated under President Barack Obama.

The drone strikes have triggered massive anti-US demonstrations across Pakistan to condemn the United States’ violations of their national sovereignty.


Wars and Rumors of War

War on terror – World News  :  Activism – Blow back – Collateral Damage – Murder

Thousands of Pakistanis rally against US drone strikes

Nine-mile convoy led by Imran Khan heads towards South Waziristan as local officials say it will not be allowed to proceed

Pakistani politician and former cricketer Imran Khan leads thousands of activists on a march to South Waziristan protesting against American drone strikes. Link to this videoThousands of Pakistanis, joined by US anti-war activists, have headed toward Pakistan‘s volatile tribal region to protest against American drone strikes despite threats from the Taliban.

The demonstrators, headed by former cricketer turned politician Imran Khan, say the strikes violate Pakistani sovereignty and kill civilians.

The rally is heading into a part of the country where the Pakistani military has been battling a violent Taliban uprising. The motorcade started from Islamabad on Saturday morning and, after an overnight stay in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, departed for the tribal belt. Local officials said the convoy would not be allowed to reach its destination in South Waziristan because of security concerns.

In a televised speech before the convoy got under way on Sunday morning, Khan thanked his supporters.

“We have achieved the goal of this march. Our message of peace has reached the world. I am thankful especially to the American group that came a long way here to join this protest against drone attacks,” he said.

Thousands turned out on the road outside Dera Ismail Khan to cheer on Khan and the convoy of supporters and accompanying media, which stretched to a length of nine miles. Supporters packed into vehicles waved flags for Khan’s political group and chanted: “We want peace.”

Videos posted on Pakistani media showed barricades with hundreds of police in riot gear, a sign of concerns that the motorcade would be attacked or become unruly.

After three years of military operations in South Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan to the west, the Pakistani military is still struggling to suppress militants.

A senior official in the South Waziristan administration, Hameedullah Khattak, vowed that the motorcade would not be allowed to enter the tribal area. “We will not let them in South Waziristan for security reasons. Here is major security situation and we cannot provide them security,” he said.

Factions of the Taliban have threatened to attack the march. On Saturday, a statement from a faction said to be based in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province warned that militants would target the protesters with suicide bombings.

The main Pakistani Taliban group, which is based in South Waziristan, issued a statement on Friday calling Khan a “slave of the west” and saying that the militants “don’t need any sympathy” from such “a secular and liberal person”.

Khan brushed aside the criticism but indicated that if the protesters are not allowed into South Waziristan, they will simply hold a rally wherever they end up.

Khan has seen his popularity surge in recent years, as the government, led by the Pakistan People’s Party of Asif Ali Zardari, has disappointed many.

The US says its drone strikes are necessary to battle militants that Pakistan has been unable or unwilling to control.