Canada’s foreign minister, John Baird, who was one of speakers at the Israel Lobby (AIPAC) conference in Washington DC on March 3, told Islamabad on March 1 that Canadian government was very much disappointed by Pakistan’s decision to go ahead with the $7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan (I-P) gas pipeline project to buy Iranian oil.
“Canada is deeply disappointed by Pakistan’s decision to build a new natural gas pipeline with Iran and to purchase Iranian resources through it,” said Baird in a statement. Baird called Iran “a dangerous nation” and “a threat to global peace”. Baird who is known for his “Iranophobia”, cannot accept the fact that it’s Canadian soldiers who are killing civilians in Afghanistan, and his government has helped rebels in Libya and Syria. Furthermore, it was John Baird who ordered the closer of diplomatic relation with Iran last year.
Baird also said: “At a time when the international community is united in using every lever possible to convince Iran to reverse its dangerous course, Pakistan’s decision runs directly contrary to these objectives and should be revisited“.
Someone, familiar with Iran-Pakistan past history, wonders if the United States couldn’t bully Pakistan-Iran relations since 1990s – why this Israeli poodle think he could do? Washington’s Jewish special Af-Pak envoys, Richard Holbrooke, Marc Grossman and former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton had tried to balckmail Islamabad over I-P in the recent past.
Last month, Pakistan’s president Asif Ali Zardari ( a Shia Muslim) met Iranian president Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatullah Khamenei in Tehran. In an apparent snub to mounting US pressure, Zardari agreed to award the contract of building Pakistan’s portion of the multi-billion dollar I-P contract to Iranian firm Tadbir Energy. The work on the project began on March 4. Tadbir Energy, controlled by Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, faces no sanctions from any pro-Israel foreign country.
“I believe that building this project is very beneficial for both sides and we support all the work carried out so far,” zardari told Ahmadinejad. Tehran is committed to pay $500 million directly to Tadbir Energy on behalf of Islamabad for the construction of gas pipeline on Pakistani soil. The project envisages gas inflows of 750 million cubic feet per day by the end of 2014, which Islamabad will use to produce 4000 megawatts of electricity.
A refinery is stated to be constructed in the port city of Gwadar with an estimated capacity of about 400,000 barrels per day, which would cost $4 billion. Last month, Islamabad in another bold move,Islamabad handed over the management of Gwader deep-Sea port to state-owned Chinese Overseas Port Holdings which irked both the US and India.
Pakistanis are facing acute shortage of electricity, not only to run its industrial sector but even to run their daily home-appliances. In some areas, people have to face 12-18 hour power shutdown. The country needs some new energy source as western powers are willing to sell Pakistan nuclear reactors – while selling them to Pakistan’s neighboring India.
The US-EU-UN sanctions against Iran have become a joke. With the exception of Britain, Canada and a few European nations, most of European countries which were trading with Iran, still continue to do business as usual under some pretex. So, why should Islamabad give a damn what the US and Canada think about Iran.