Musharraf lobbies Beijing to build Iran-Pakistan-China oil and gas pipelines
The Associated Press; Monday, April 14, 2008
BEIJING: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said Monday he is lobbying Beijing to build oil and gas pipelines linking his country with China's west as the two longtime allies expand commercial ties.
China is sharply increasing oil and gas imports to fuel its booming economy, and Musharraf said he hoped it would see Pakistan as an "energy and trade corridor" to the Middle East.
"Pakistan is very much in favor of a pipeline between the Gulf and China through Pakistan and I have been speaking with your leadership, the president and the prime minister, about this," Musharraf told a student audience at Beijing's Tsinghua University.
"I'm very sure in the future Muslims say, Inshallah it will happen," he said.
Beijing and Islamabad have been close for decades, united partly by their common distrust of neighboring India.
Pakistan abuts China's west but trade was limited for years due to rugged mountain terrain on the border. Commercial ties have grown in recent years. China's dominant mobile phone company bought control of Pakistan's fifth-largest mobile carrier last year.
"I believe in a corridor linking Pakistan and China: road linkage, rail linkage, fiber optics, oil and gas," Musharraf said.
He acknowledged the challenges of building a pipeline that would have to cross soaring mountain passes up to 15,000 feet (4,500 meters) high.
"Technical experts thought it might not be possible at such heights," he said. "But experts say (an) oil and gas pipeline could be pumped upward up to the border, but the larger distance in China would be downflowing. So technically it's very feasible."
Musharraf noted that Pakistan is trying to build a pipeline to carry gas from neighboring Iran to India.
"We call it IPI pipeline. Why can this not be IPC pipeline Iran-Pakistan-China pipeline also?" he said.
For an Iranian perspective, see
Musharraf Lobbies Beijing to Build Iran-Pakistan-China Oil, Gas Pipelines