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Pipeline to Pakistan may revive stalled mega projects


India’s decision to pipe natural gas and other petroleum products to Pakistan is being seen as a first step that could lead to the revival of two stalled mega undertakings involving Islamabad — the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project.

“We are attempting a pilot project with Pakistan. If it succeeds, and there is a genuine demonstration of goodwill from Pakistan on all fronts, including security, it could lead to the reconsideration of stalled mega projects such as IPI and the TAPI pipeline,” highly placed sources said.

The sources observed that a new gas pipeline and a products pipeline to Pakistan from India was the brainchild of the Manmohan Singh government. The Modi administration has been willing to carry forward the proposal.

Instability in Pakistan’s Baluchistan, through which the proposed IPI would pass, coupled with the policy of the United States so far to seek Iran’s political and economic isolation, have impeded the project. But analysts say that the IPI could revive, should a breakthrough be achieved in the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the six global powers — U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. “There is already a softening of stance towards Iran among international oil majors. A political deal, if it materialises, would cement Tehran’s possible reintegration in the global economy and raise its regional standing in West Asia,” the sources said.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:08:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pipeline-to-pakistan-may-revive-stalled-mega-projects/article6229237.ece

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