Sushma Swaraj said in Islamabad : “We have decided to restart the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue. The dialogue that was earlier known as Composite Dialogue and later on as Resumed Dialogue will now be known as the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.”
The comprehensive bilateral dialogue will have all the “pillars” of Indo-Pak relationship and will include confidence building measures (CBMs), Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar barrage/Tulbul navigation project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control, people-to-people exchanges. Two new pillars have been added — humanitarian issues and religious tourism.
India and Pakistan will participate in another ground-breaking event: e $10 billion Turkmenistan, Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI) project.
While the TAPI project has been discussed by Turkmenistan, which has the world’s fourth largest reserves of natural gas, since 1995, India only joined the project formally in 2008. The project has been stalled over the years over gas price negotiations, transit fees, and the problems of security in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Tensions between India and Pakistan only added to the problems, and despite signing the ‘gas purchase agreement’ in 2010, the talks did not go forward.
“Unless the security situation in Afghanistan is stable, this project won’t work. Particularly with the splitting of Taliban, rise of the ISIS, and the government’s inability to exert control in the western and southern parts, which does not look likely to be resolved anytime soon,”
India’s share of 38 mmscmd would account for about 25% of its current gas requirements. The 1800-km pipeline project contract would provide energy to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India for 30 years, with Turkmengaz extracting the natural gas at a shared cost from the Galkynysh field, the world’s second-largest reservoir of natural gas.