Chinks in IPI pipeline
A leading Pakistan daily says breakdown of Indo-Pak peace talks can affect the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.india Updated: Jul 22, 2006 13:22 IST
Rupture in the India-Pakistan peace dialogue could affect the trilateral Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, already stuck because of pricing dispute and the US pressures against any multilateral project emanating from Iran, a prominent Pakistani newspaper said on Saturday.
A trilateral meeting in New Delhi scheduled later this month has been postponed, the Pakistan foreign office confirmed.
But the talks could resume next month. "The new dates are not yet fixed but I think it may convene some time next month," foreign office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told The Nation.
Asked about the threat to the trilateral venture due to the halt in the normalisation process between Pakistan and India, she said, "As far as we are concerned, we take the IPI negotiations as going on."
The trilateral negotiations are already stuck due to the pricing deadlock, but the collapse of the peace process has wrapped up the opportunity for the three countries to try to reach an agreeable price of the gas to be flowing from Iran up to India, the newspaper said.
With Iranians sticking to their demand of international price for their gas and Indians "fast heading back to their position of being aversive to have joint venture with Pakistan," the economically plausible project is feared to be shelved for the time being at least, sources in Islamabad said.
Above all, the American opposition to any multilateral project emanating from Iran alone was enough to keep this project from materialisation, these sources pointed out.