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CPM flays Govt for joining tri-nation pipeline project

Yechury said it showed the new direction of India's foreign policy as Iran would have been a more secure partner.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 12:29 IST

The CPI(M) has criticised the government for joining the US-sponsored Turkmenistan- Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline project, saying it showed the "new direction" of India's foreign policy as Iran would have been a more secure and long-standing partner for the purpose.

Describing the TAP project as "uncertain and illusory", party's member Sitaram Yechury said, "if the Iran pipeline is considered 'insecure', then the TAP passing through Afghanistan and Pakistan should be doubly so".

In an editorial in the forthcoming issue of 'People's Democracy', party's weekly organ, he said there were "serious doubts" about the availability of gas in the TAP project as Turkmenistan has signed major contracts with Russia and China and would have no exportable surplus of gas to be supplied to India.

"This is common knowledge and officials of the Petroleum and the External Affairs ministries should be aware of this," he said, adding as against this, Iran had abundant reserves.

If the TAP project is materialised, "which is highly doubtful, then it will only serve US geo-political interests in the region," he said.

"This also has become clear from the note submitted by the Foreign Secretary to the Petroleum Ministry recommending the TAP project, which shamelessly says 'It would be in tune with the latest US strategic thinking for the region'", Yechury said.

First Published: Jun 02, 2006 12:29 IST