Words of Wisdom:

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Londoomyceryc


  • Date Submitted: 09/20/2010 05:08 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 44.2 
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Among the many crises that Pakistan is facing today, undoubtedly the shortage of energy is the most serious one. It has not only stunted the economic growth but also has the potential of disturbing the peace and order in the country, as reflected by the increasingly violent public protests against long power outages.

To address the problem, Pakistan as well as India, which is also facing the same kind of crisis, entered into preliminary negotiation on two projects named the India-Pakistan-Iran pipeline (IPI) and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI) in the mid-90s. The negotiations were protracted on the price mechanism, transit fees and security of the pipeline through Afghanistan to ensure uninterrupted supply. India opted out of the project in 2007 over security concerns retaining the option to re-join it, and instead signed a long-term deal with Myanmar. Pakistan, having no other option, stuck to the Iranian deal and finally the agreement was signed in Istanbul on March 16 this year.

Iran has 15.7 per cent of the world's natural gas reserves, second only to Russia. It is anticipated that Iran's total gas export to China and Europe will reach $18 billion in the next decade. The IPI pipeline, whose total cost is estimated at $7.4 billion, would run about 1115km in Iran, 705km in Pakistan and 850km in India and may take four to five years for completion. The TAPI pipeline starts from Dolatabad, Turkmenistan, passes through Harat and Kandhar in Afghanistan, Multan in Pakistan and ends at Fazilka at the Pakistan-India border. The project has the support of the US.

While it was anticipated that the US may throw a spanner in the works to punish Iran, the possibility was discounted in view of the new state of relationship and the US' commitment to help Pakistan in energy sector. These expectations, however, have not met. The US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake has cautioned Pakistan saying, "We do not think it is the right time...


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