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Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline may not be a pipe-dream anymore

Islamabad, Jan 31, IRNA-Strong positive indications have emerged recently that the multi-billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline will go ahead, a leading Pakistani analyst has said.

With a thaw in India-Pakistan relations, and flexibility on the part of Iran on the pricing issue, the pipeline may not be a pipe-dream anymore, as some cynics have been commenting, Rasool Bakhsh Raees has said.

One can catch a dreaming glimpse of regional cooperation in the report that Iran, India and Pakistan have finally agreed on a pricing formula after years of haggling, Raees said in an article published in" Daily Times".

Describing the project as being of vital importance for three countries, he said it will allow Iran to gain access to one of the largest markets for energy resources.

India and Pakistan with their growing economies will have secure and long-term supplies to meet their increasing need, he argued.

Talks on building the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline began in 1994, more than twelve years back but progress on this multi-billion- dollar project has been held hostage to India-Pakistan tensions, Raees observed.

He said that energy cooperation would create and deepen intra-state and intra-regional interdependence.

Energy cooperation and mutual interdependence between India and Pakistan would create a better environment for resolving old conflicts and create more avenues of openness, he said.

Raees said that Pakistan stays committed to allowing this pipeline to cross through its territory.

He said India's participation in IPI will send a positive signal to banks and companies that may invest in this project.

There are a number of multinationals in the field from the US, Netherlands and Australia that have shown tremendous interest in this and similar projects and are willing to build the pipelines.

... Payvand News - 1/31/07 ... --

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