India should revive gas pipeline with Iran: President Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said India must capitalise on opportunities being offered by the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, US and Germany) and should work on reviving the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline along with the development of the strategic Chabahar port in Iran. “This (the deal) also opens up the possibility of implementing the International North-South Transport Corridor for a competitive and quick route to Eurasia. India’s future dependence on imported energy, mainly oil and gas, is a stark reality that will also require diversifying sources of supply,” the President said. He added that the Central Asian states have considerable energy surplus and thus the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project is worth pursuing both for energy supplies and its collateral geo-strategic benefits. The President was addressing the inaugural session of an international conference on “Cooperative Development, Peace and Security in South and Central Asia’ organised by Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here on Wednesday evening. Mukherjee said though the present government is making all efforts to pursue closer ties with South Asian neighbours, it has faced trouble with Pakistan. “With Pakistan, our efforts have not yielded the desired progress for reasons that are known to all of you,” he said. The President, however, said the Subcontinent was India’s highest priority and must in keeping with its neighbourhood first policy.

Source : Indian Express, 1st October 2015



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