Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf announced that his government endorsed a plan for constructing a major gas line connecting India and Iran via Pakistan.
Musharraf conveyed during a Tehran visit on Saturday, "We have recently signed a document giving our agreement to the gas-line project linking Iran, Pakistan and India. And we have done so because we believe in greater cooperation among the countries of this region."
Musharraf was in Iran for a meeting of the 10-nation Economic Cooperation Organization, of which both Iran and Pakistan are members, Virtual New York reported. The Organization promotes trade and economic cooperation in
southern and central Asia.
While previous Pakistani governments supported the gas line project, but did not give a formal endorsement, other administrations emoted strong negative reactions to the project. India and Iran have been pushing for a pipeline
for nearly 10 years. Experts hope that the multi-billion dollar project will add to the prosperity of all three involved nations. Technical studies have commenced for the project, which would transport Iranian natural gas to India.
The US and other nations have been urging India and Pakistan to set political differences aside and to advance economic cooperation. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in
1947. The international community fears that a fourth war between the two countries could result in a nuclear conflict in the region.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )