US Reaffirms Support for Pakistan’s Energy Crisis Despite Opposition to Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline

Despite the United States’ opposition to the Pak-Iran gas pipeline, it has reiterated its commitment to assist Pakistan in overcoming its energy crisis. Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the US State Department, emphasized that aiding Pakistan in resolving its energy shortage is a priority for the US.

The US has repeatedly expressed its disapproval of the bilateral gas pipeline agreement between Islamabad and Tehran. The project, which was initially slated for completion in 2015, has been delayed for nearly a decade. The US has even threatened to impose sanctions if the project is completed.

Pakistan’s economic crisis, characterized by a weakening local currency and dwindling foreign exchange reserves, has led to skyrocketing utility bills and a worsening energy shortage. As a result, Pakistan is running out of options to meet its growing energy needs.

Moreover, Pakistan risks incurring an $18 billion penalty for failing to fulfill its part of the agreement, which involves completing a 781-kilometer pipeline from the Iranian border to Nawabshah and consuming 750 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The project has been delayed since 2014. In January, Iran issued a third notice to Pakistan, renewing its intention to take the matter to the arbitration court due to Pakistan’s failure to lay the pipeline in its territory.

Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik stated on Monday that Islamabad would vigorously argue its case to seek exemption from US sanctions by presenting technical and political arguments.

Miller further elaborated on the US’s support for Pakistan in meeting its energy needs, stating, “We have supported the addition of approximately 4,000 megawatts of clean energy capacity in Pakistan.” He added that their projects have significantly increased the nation’s electricity capacity, now powering the homes of millions of Pakistanis.

Through the United States-Pakistan Green Alliance, a transformative initiative between the two countries, they are working together to address today’s most pressing environmental challenges, especially around water management, climate-smart agriculture, and renewable energy.

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