India, Pak should evolve ‘MAD’ policy to ensure guarantee for IPI


New Delhi : India and Pakistan should evolve ‘Mutually Assured Destruction or Disruption (MAD)’ policy to ensure guaranteed supplies of natural gas through long-discussed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (IPI), says former Planning Commission member Kirit Parikh.

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“A pipeline from Iran to Jaisalmer on Pakistan-India border should be laid with no tap-off or drawal points in Pakistan,” said Parikh, Chairman, Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe), speaking at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) round table on overseas energy acquisition, the PTI reported.

Jaisalmer will be the point from where India and Pakistan will draw their share of natural gas. Separate spur lines will carry the gas from Jaisalmer to Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpandi.

‘This way in case the pipeline is disrupted (through sabotage or otherwise), then Pakistan will also suffer,’ he said.

So, Pakistan will not be able to hold the pipeline hostage to make political points over India as its own supplies would be affected.
Likewise, India will not do anything to disrupt supplies as its own needs will be impacted.

‘Mutually Assured Disruption or MAD is the way forward. this may not be a very frivolous suggestion but a serious suggestion,’Parikh said.
The IPI pipeline has been on drawing boards since early 1990s over security concerns of the nearly 700-km stretch of the line passing through Pakistan.

India and Pakistan are to split equally the 60 million standard cubic meters per day of gas Iran proposes to sell through the pipeline.

Parikh also favors an integrated approach to acquisition of energy assets overseas and stresses on diversification of oil and gas supply bases.

Vivek Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Prabhat Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs meanwhile addressed the roundtable and highlighted such issues as demand and supply gaps of energy resources, strengthening competitiveness of Indian companies, sovereign fund and improvement in energy mix.

ONGC Videsh Ltd Executive Director G. C. Saxena emphasised on building a national strategy for overseas acquisitions, venture into unconventional assets and frontiers unexplored areas.