Beijing Quiet on Musharraf Offer for Joining Iran Gas Pipeline

A03588538.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The Chinese foreign ministry on Tuesday steered clear of the new issues thrown up by Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, who invited China to join the Iran-India-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

Musharraf also suggested that China can play an important role in defusing the Afghanistan crisis through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The Chinese foreign ministry expressed confidence that India would ensure safe passage of the Olympic torch in New Delhi on April 17. Any disruption of the torch relay would only “show the true nature of sabotage of the separatists”, Jiang Yu, ministry spokeswoman, told reporters.

Meanwhile Musharraf raised the Kashmir issue, talked about Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline (also known as the Peace Pipeline) and offered to help China play a role in Muslim politics including in Afghanistan. “Pakistan is very much in favor of the pipeline between the Persian Gulf and China through Pakistan,” Musharraf said.

Asked about the statement of the Pakistani president, Jiang said, “I have no information about it. You can take it up with the relevant department”.

She also did not wish to discuss the Pakistani president’s suggestion that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization could join hands with NATO to solve the Afghanistan crisis. Like India, Pakistan is an observer and not a member at the SCO.

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