During his recent visit to Iran, India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said his country is ready to participate in the Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline project and to invest in the development of the Iranian port of Chabahar.
It may be recalled that originally, the project involved India, Pakistan and Iran and it was named Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) or Peace Pipeline. However, in the course of time, India abandoned negotiations over the project and the pipeline moved forward as a partnership between Iran and Pakistan, with the final construction phase inaugurated in March. Now, India expressed interest to restart negotiations over participation in the project.
The minister also expressed interest to develop the Chabahar port project, for which the union cabinet already gave approval.
The investment could help turn Chabahar into a hub for the movement of Indian goods to Afghanistan, while others see investment as a way to counter the Chinese-managed Gwadar port in southwestern Pakistan.
The pipeline, meanwhile, would offer Iran a boost in its regional influence, as well as be a welcome source of revenue, while also boosting energy supplies in Pakistan, according to UK newspaper the Guardian.
Pakistan recently stopped pursuing plans to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar.