ISLAMABAD - Pakistan said on Thursday it will step up efforts to build a gas pipeline from Iran, despite opposition to the venture from Islamabad's strategic ally Washington.
The project, first proposed in the 1990s, has faced numerous delays. Nevertheless Pakistan's pledge could anger the United States, which has warned the project could violate sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.
"This project is underway, and inshallah (God willing) efforts will be made to accelerate its progress," Pakistani Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told reporters after meeting visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
The United States said last year Pakistan should be wary of committing to the proposed $7.6 billion Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline because sanctions could hit Pakistani companies.