India Renews Interest in IPI Gas Pipeline

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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 India’s move to distance itself from the project.

India’s 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 Manmohan’s 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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