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Published: Friday 15 July 2005

India and Pakistan will jointly work on three trans-national natural gas pipeline projects: the Iran-Pakistan-India (ipi) project, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan project and the Gulf-South Asian project from Qatar to Pakistan, being extended to India. This was decided during the recent visit of Union petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar to Pakistan.

"India and Pakistan agreed that trans-national pipeline projects should be given top priority...," said a joint statement released at the end of Aiyar's visit. "I indicated India's interest in the Gulf-South Asian gas pipeline project and Mr Musharraf said Pakistan has no problems...for all three pipeline projects, the roadmap has been chalked out and the milestones are in place," said Aiyar. It was decided that three sets of bilateral dialogues for the ipi project will finally lead to a trilateral dialogue by 2005 end. "We have now addressing security concerns in a serious and sincere manner," said the statement. The two nations have an aggregated daily unmet gas demand of 500 million cubic metres.

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