That pipeline project may be canned

Good. But unfortunately, not for the right reasons

Rediff reports that instead of co-investing in a pipeline project across Pakistan and Iran, India will seek to modify the deal putting the onus on Iran to deliver the gas at India’s border.

The (petroleum ministry’s) note says the full responsibility for ensuring safe and secure supply of gas to India would vest on Iran. Tehran would be solely responsible to ensure Indian supplies; arrange alternative supplies in case of disruption, and suffer penalties in case of supply disruptions.

The negative aspect of this arrangement is that the supply to India would be almost entirely dependent on the ability of Iran to ensure that Pakistan fulfils its obligations.[Rediff]

It’s not a new idea and it remains to be seen if Iran is willing to accept these terms without a significant increase in price. In any case, India’s decision is a serious if not final blow to the pipeline project.

Unfortunately, the petroleum ministry felt compelled to do this ‘due to political and legal opposition from the US’. It would have been wholly unnecessary to create a situation where India’s actions are seen to be circumscribed by the United States if only the UPA government had had the good sense to realise that the pipeline was a fundamentally unsound idea in the first place.

Update: Mani Shankar Aiyar declares that India remains fully-committed to the project, and buying gas at the border is an old option being ‘recalled.

11 thoughts on “That pipeline project may be canned”

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  3. So much for an “independent” foreign policy isnt it? I wonder what the commies have to say on this. Perhaps the usual bluster followed by mellowing down/reconciliation with the decision?

    Every passing government seems to have lesser and lesser spine in dealing with the United States.

  4. Lesser spine? Acting in our countries own interests is not a sign of weakness. China does not outrightly annex Taiwan, largely due to the US. You must then also conclude that China is spineless.

    A country’s foreign policy is a result of its interactions with other countries. Siding with the US on this matter is policy that Delhi has decided. Just because you disagree with it doesn’t mean India is losing its sovereignty. India can at anytime decide its relationship with the US is not in its best interest anymore.

  5. forget the US our own interests too the Iran pipelien via pak is not a good can never be secured crossing so many terrorists pockets..
    if Iran need this business let them very well bring it to our shores and at an attractive price..

  6. Germay is building a pipeline under the baltic sea bypassing poland. So India should look into it.

  7. Nitin, yes, I did jump onto the wagon 🙂

    I don’t have your energy level to keep it going pretty much every day of the week! Hopefully I can keep it interesting and keep it going.

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