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Pipe Dreams

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I believe India is foolishly staking its energy needs on this potentially troublesome IPI pipeline, which it has agreed to in principle:

Pakistan and India have principally agreed to resolve fundamental issues of Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project and committed to start the construction work next year.

The most pressing concern for India, of course, is energy security since the pipeline will traverse the restive province of Balochistan, a hotbed of insurgency and unrest. Can Pakistan guarantee that the pipeline will not be harmed in anyway?

Regarding security Khawaja Asif said there is no security concern to the pipeline as we have made precatuionary measures to protect it. He said the gas pipeline will come from Iranian Balochistan along with coastal route and joint Nawab Shah in Sindh.

Then this happens:

Unknown saboteurs blew up two gas pipelines supplying gas to Och power plant and Punjab in two different incidents in Malguzar area of Jaffarabad and Doli area of Dera Bugti districts in the wee hours of Sunday, police sources told APP.

If Pakistan cannot keep its own pipelines secure how can it protect the IPI, which India is desperately relying on to slake its thirst for energy? Proponents will say the IPI pipeline will bind India and Pakistan, forcing to them to work closer and, hopefully, reduce tensions. Perhaps. But I believe Pakistan will also use it as a cudgel to force India’s hand on issues like Kashmir.

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Written by niraj

April 29th, 2008 at 8:49 am

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