Shyam Saran casts doubts on Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline

July 26th, 2008 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Shyam Saran, the prime minister’s points person on the India-US civilian nuclear deal, Saturday cast doubts on the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, saying its economic viability would have to be studied. “We have to see the economic viability of the pipeline, given the extra costs of insurance, since the pipeline will pass through areas that are not stable,” Saran told the audience at a lecture on climate change here, in response to a question.

“We are discussing this with Iran and Pakistan now,” Saran said. “If the costs are too high and we’re locked into an agreement for the next 50 years, then we have a problem.”

Saran would not be drawn into a commitment on the date by which the pipeline deal would be fianlised, if at all. He said: “The more politics there is in a deal of this kind, the less possible it is to get good economic viability.

“Let the Indian negotiators work (without the pressure of a deadline) to get the best deal for the country,” he added.

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