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Defence Researched Institute in India

Role of Pakistan in India's Energy Security

Author : Major General (Retired) Ajay Kumar Chaturvedi, AVSM, VSM

India is short of energy despite one of the lowest per capita energy consumption. It is indeed of interest that most of the forms of energy which are part of the present Energy Matrix of India, suffer from some problem or the other. These are either due to quality of resource (coal), shortage of resource (Natural Uranium, Petroleum based resources), lack of technologies for indigenous resources (Thorium, renewable sources), shortage of adequate infrastructure for their exploitation (entire country not yet connected by power grid, internal network of pipelines). Next major issue is that the gestation period for the growth of most of the desired technologies to exploit local resources is quite long and as such there is a need to go for exploitation of resources which are either readily available or can be exploited by resorting to import of energy resources. This is where Natural Gas assumes importance and has potential for exploitation in short to medium term. In this connection import from West Asia and Central Asia holds good promise. Pakistan has a very pivotal position in the import of natural gas from either of the two sources. Involving Pakistan while may be froth with danger due to volatile situation in that country or an persisting anti Indian sentiments existing there, but another way to look at it would be that such a relationship may give boost to Pakistan's economy and enhance interdependence between the two countries leading to improvement in the relations. This paper attempts to examine all these related issues.

India is short of energy despite one of the lowest per capita energy consumption. It is indeed of interest that most of the forms of energy which are part of the present Energy Matrix of India, suffer from some problem or the other. These are either due to quality of resource (coal), shortage of resource (Natural Uranium, Petroleum based resources), lack of technologies for indigenous resources (Thorium, renewable sources), shortage of adequate infrastructure for their exploitation (entire country not yet connected by power grid, internal network of pipelines). Next major issue is that the gestation period for the growth of most of the desired technologies to exploit local resources is quite long and as such there is a need to go for exploitation of resources which are either readily available or can be exploited by resorting to import of energy resources. This is where Natural Gas assumes importance and has potential for exploitation in short to medium term. In this connection import from West Asia and Central Asia holds good promise. Pakistan has a very pivotal position in the import of natural gas from either of the two sources. Involving Pakistan while may be froth with danger due to volatile situation in that country or an persisting anti Indian sentiments existing there, but another way to look at it would be that such a relationship may give boost to Pakistan's economy and enhance interdependence between the two countries leading to improvement in the relations. This paper attempts to examine all these related issues.