NEW DELHI: Finally India appears willing to join ambitious six billion dollar Iran -Pakistan-India gas pipeline that will help energy thirsty country to partially meet its energy needs. An indication to this effect was given by External Affairs Salman Khurshid here last evening. to a group of visiting Pakistani journalists.
Under American pressure and security situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan,India virtually kept itself out from this dream project..
If there is seriousness from all sides we are ready to import natural gas from Iran and Central Asia through Pakistan, he said. Iran was also keen that India should join the project and was ready to address security concerns of the Indian government.
The Minister said that Such regional projects could create inter-dependencies and would compel both Pakistan and India to have a long-term relationship, he said.
India pulled out from what was once described as peace pipeline in 2009 ostensibly due to its civilian nuclear deal with the United States. Infact the Obama Administration also put pressure on Pakistan to cancel the deal,but Islamabad refused to succumb to Washington’s pressure.
When asked, the minister insisted that his country had never backed out from the IP gas pipeline. When you make such a huge investment in a project, you need to show seriousness rhetoric y will not work, he said while explaining the reason behind Indias move to distance itself from the project.
Indias renewed interest in the project comes against the backdrop of a recent nuclear deal between the West and Iran.
The UPA government received flak from the left-wing parties and Muslim lgroups for abandoning the project.
Theforeign minister did not rule out the possibility of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visiting Pakistan in next few months.Prime Min ister Dr Manmohan Singh has expressed hios desire to visit Pakistan especially his ancestral village and birth place of founder of the Sikf religion Baba Guru Nanak jihid said.
A senior Pakistani diplomat posted in New Delhi that Manmohans visit was still a possibility. .
If everything moves according to the roadmap, then the Indian prime minister will certainly visit Pakistan, he added.
Mr Khurshidr insisted that the right atmosphere was needed to revive the full spectrum of the peace process between the two countries.
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