Pakistan's foreign minister, on a visit to India, has urged India to
move ahead with a gas pipeline project that will carry gas from Iran to
India via Pakistan. As Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, the
visit comes as both countries try to give a boost to a slow-moving
During talks with his Indian counterpart in New
Delhi Friday, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called on
India to finalize a $7 billion gas pipeline project that is
to carry gas from Iran to both Pakistan and India.
He says the project will benefit both countries and lessen the impact of spiraling energy prices.
energy prices have gone berserk and both countries are suffering on
account of that this is a project that can help us mitigate our
problems vis a vis energy shortages," said Qureshi. "We need energy and
this is a project that is a do-able project."
the project has been delayed due to India's fears about the pipeline's
security during its route through long-time rival Pakistan. The project
is also opposed by the United States, which wants to isolate Iran over
its disputed nuclear program.
Indian foreign minister, Pranab
Mukherjee, said New Delhi hopes to resolve technical and commercial
aspects of the project with Islamabad.
The Pakistani foreign
minister, also called for a boost to the five-year peace process
between the two countries, saying the South Asian neighbors should move
from conflict management to conflict resolution.
Qureshi says there is broad political support in both countries to deepen the peace process.
is a virtual consensus on movement and normalization," he said.
"We must seize this opportunity. We have the right environment, and we
must not miss this opportunity. It will be a great loss."
Qureshi is on his first visit to India since a democratic government took power in Islamabad.
the Indian foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, reiterated New Delhi's
concerns on terrorism. India says Islamic militants infiltrate into
Indian territory from Pakistan - and Mukherjee wants closer cooperation
from Islamabad in combating the threat.
"Whatever be our
political differences, we have to be unambiguous in addressing the
terrorist threat," he said. "We hope that in future meetings concrete
results, including exchange of information on terrorists and terrorist
incidents, will emerge."
Both sides say a fresh round of peace
talks will be held next month to discuss their dispute over Kashmir -
the Himalayan region that is divided between them and claimed by both.
peace process has lowered tensions between the rivals and made the
once-volatile Kashmir border relatively peaceful. But there has been
little progress so far on resolving their conflicting claims to the