MARCH 20 2012 13:25h
New Delhi, Islamabad to talk TAPI pipeline
Petroleum and Natural Resources Secretary Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry said a delegation was headed to New Delhi for an international conference on natural gas, which is to begin Thursday.
Talks on the sidelines would include the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline, reports Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
Chaudhry said there'd be nothing formal proposed during bilateral talks. Dawn described upcoming TAPI talks as "sort of (a) fact-finding mission."
Washington backs TAPI, which has the support of the Asia Development Bank, over a rival project planned from Iran. TAPI partners have expressed concerns about the various charges tied to the pipeline, however.
Islamabad, meanwhile, has embraced the Iranian pipeline despite objections from the United States.
Pakistan is coping with a looming energy crisis, though the U.S. State Department said the Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline was a "bad idea." Islamabad, however, had said it believed the natural gas from Turkmenistan would be less expensive.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 20 (UPI) -- Officials from Islamabad scheduled a trip to New Delhi to discuss aspects of a natural gas pipeline planned from Turkmenistan, a secretary said.