Islamabad wants to build a 1,100 kilometer gas pipeline from Karachi to Punjab with Russian help
Pakistan will import 2 million metric tons of wheat from Russia despite international sanctions against Russia that have accompanied its war on Ukraine, according to the Pakistani Prime Minister.
Announcing the development, Imran Khan said on Monday that Islamabad would also import natural gas from Moscow to meet his country’s growing domestic and industrial demand.
In his televised address to the nation, Khan, who made an initial two-day visit to Moscow last week, said Islamabad would follow an “independent” foreign policy and no longer join “nobody’s” war.
“My two recent visits to China and Russia have won the respect of Pakistan. You will soon see the benefits of these visits,” he said.
Pakistan and Russia have signed two agreements – in 2015 and 2021 – for the construction of a 1,100 kilometer (684 mile) gas pipeline, known as the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project, from the port city of Karachi to the north -east of Punjab province. .
The $2.5 billion project is expected to begin next year, but analysts see little chance of meeting the deadline due to the myriad global sanctions against Moscow, which will have long-term impacts.
Referring to Pakistan’s participation in Washington’s war on terror, Khan said Islamabad has recognized heavy losses in terms of lives and economy in the so-called war.
“We lost 80,000 lives and recognized a loss of 150 billion dollars by participating in the war (against terrorism), although we had nothing to do with it. No Pakistanis were involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Washington and New York,” he noted.
“The most shameful thing was that our ally was bombing our own country,” he said, referring to more than 400 US drone strikes on Pakistan’s northwest tribal region near the Afghan border. from 2004 to 2016.
Khan took the opportunity to target his political opponents, blaming three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Zardari for their alleged tacit support for US drone strikes.
“Those whose assets are abroad, they cannot forge an independent foreign policy. Only those without overseas assets can do so,” he said.
Khan also announced some measures including a reduction in oil and electricity prices in a bid to mitigate rising inflation in the country.
The Russian-Ukrainian war entered its sixth day on Tuesday.
The war sparked international outrage, with the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States implementing a series of economic sanctions against Russia.
Western countries have also agreed to supply arms to Ukraine.