India and Pakistan signed a natural gas agreement with Turkmenistan to engineer a $7.6 billion pipeline through Afghanistan which will yearly provide 33 billion cubic metres of gas to meet both countries growing energy demands.
The energy agreement, which director-general of the Central and West Asia Department at the Asian Development Bank refers to as “Peace Pipeline”, reflects the improving ties between the neighbors following previous conflict that has enveloped the south Asia region. The US hopes better ties will help lift the situation in Afghanistan which served as proxy battleground between the two.
The real problem they may face is the cooperation of all parties involved to secure the pipelines from Taliban attacks, analysts said. The energy deal will also help India reduce its dependence on Iranian oil after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged New Delhi to cut oil imports as part of concessions to ensure Tehran’s “budding” nuclear programme. The US also ordered Japan to freeze Iranian assets that holds Iranian oil trade.