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Pak-Iran gas pipeline not under sanctions: FO

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday clarified that the project of gas pipeline between Pakistan and Iran does not cover under the sanctions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear issue with the international community.

“Pakistan is committed to the Pak-Iran gas pipeline and sanctions do not cover this project,” said Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit in his weekly press briefing here at Foreign Office.

He said although Pakistan was studying the US legislation about sanctions on Iran but it is clear that Pak-Iran gas pipeline was not covered by them.

The spokesman said Pakistan has repeatedly said that the nuclear issue of Iran should be resolved peacefully through negotiations and dialogue by the international community.

Replying another question about reports of Iranian President's visit to Pakistan the spokesman said, “No bilateral visit between Pakistan and Iran has been finalised yet.”

The spokesman said dates for the visit of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Kabul has not yet been finalised but added that this visit will be on invitation of the Afghan government.

He said Pakistan was committed to peace and security in Afghanistan and always assured its support to the reconciliation process which will be Afghan led and Afghan owned.

The spokesman however did not answer the questions regarding any links or association of Pakistan for setting up office of the Taliban in Qatar as proposed by United States to help in negotiations with representatives of Taliban.

He said Pakistan has been pursuing all tracks including bilateral, trilateral, and multi-lateral negotiations and engagements for the peace and security in Afghanistan. All these tracks are supplementing each other.

Answering a question about the return of Afghan refugees, the spokesman said, “Pakistan wants the return of these refugees, but with honour and dignity.”

He said Pakistan has asked the international community especially the UNHCR to prepare a comprehensive and effective programme for the return of Afghan refugees so they could go to their homes with honour and respect.

Basit said there were 31 Pakistanis detained at Bagram and Pakistan's Embassy in Kabul has been working closely with the Afghan government for early release and return of those.

Answering a question about Pakistan's role for bringing Saudi Arabia and Iran closer, the spokesman said Pakistan has always worked for solidarity among the Muslim.

He said Pak-Russia relations were going on upward trajectory and both the countries were making efforts to further strengthen these relations.

Responding to a question about procurement of nuclear sub marine by India from Russia, the spokesman said the region was faced with multidimensional issues and acquisition of such weapons will not serve the purpose.

He said millions of people in the region are living below the poverty line and the focus should rather be on their economic well being.

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