With a dead-on-arrival Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, India signaled strong interest in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project that will transport natural gas for a severely energy deficient and rapidly expanding India.
India was working on three major natural gas proposals to feed its growing hunger for energy. The IPI, TAPI, and Myanmar-Bangladesh-India (MBI) are three potentially viable but politically and security-hassled projects.
The IPI would require the pipeline to travel from Iran through insurgency ridden Baloachistan Province of Pakistan before entering India. The major issue here is the
safety of the pipeline, reliability of Pakistan as a transiting authority, and
reliability of Iran as an energy supplier. Since all there are suspect, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signaled the financial impracticality of the deal while visiting the United States. While some analysts discounted the statement as a pander to the US, his statement followed up with sacking Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar to prove his point. Subsequent waffling by Iran on other contracts, denial of access to port facilities, and India’s continued opposition to its
suspicious nuclear program
essentially suffocated the deal. Although, Iran and Pakistan seem gung-ho about the deal and nobody knows how an economically bankrupt Pakistan and an internationally isolated Iran can pull it off.