[India, like Turkey (SEE: Turkish Navy Enforces Imperial Edicts, Seizes Syrian Transport Vessel), today embraces its designation as Imperial anchor, each pawn nation serving the Evil Empire's demands to police its end of the New Middle East (SEE: US Implementation Plans Behind India/Vietnam Challenge To China). They have fallen under Hillary's siren spell, apparently now believing that they too, can take what they want by force, despite Washington's abject failure in doing so over the past ten years. There will be no TAPI gas for India as long as Afghanistan remains unpacified and Pakistan still exists as a separate Nation. "Sucker Bait" for greedy delusional would-be gangster nations.]
Krishna says new pipelines, rail links and highways are building blocks of region’s future
India has backed a multinational initiative to build a multi-billion dollar network of roads, railways and gas pipelines linking the resource-rich Central Asia with the continent’s fast-growing economies — a project that its advocates describe as a “New Silk Road,” a modern version of the fabled trade routes.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told a meeting of foreign ministers, held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, that the project would develop the “building blocks of our vision for Afghanistan as a hub linking Central and South Asia through pipelines, trade and transit routes for the common good of the people of our region and the world.”
He said the project would help build upon Afghanistan’s “comparative advantage of abundant natural resources and its strategic geographical location.”
Thursday’s talks have paved the way for high-level meetings in Istanbul on November 2 and in Bonn on December 5, where the building blocks of the “New Silk Road” will be discussed — among them roads, railways, mining projects and gas pipelines.
Afghanistan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the foreign ministers of France, China, Japan, Canada, Sweden, Norway and the United Arab Emirates as well as senior officials from Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan attended the meeting.
“This was a great day for Afghanistan and the region,” Mr. Rassoul said.
Ms. Clinton said the new network would allow Afghanistan and other Central Asian states to attract new sources of foreign private sector investment and access markets abroad. This, in turn, would provide people in the region “with credible alternatives to insurgency.”
However, Ms. Clinton said the project’s success would require “changes in attitude and a sustained commitment of political will.”
Indian firms are already bidding for the development of the Hajigak iron ore mines in Afghanistan, while Chinese corporations have begun work on a $3 billion investment to tap the country’s copper.
New Delhi has also signed on to an $7.6 billion project to build a 2,000-kilometre pipeline that will bring some 70 billion cubic metres of gas each year from Turkmenistan’s Daulatabad fields to India, via Afghanistan and Pakistan. The construction of the pipeline, which will run through some 700 kilometres of Afghan territory and another 800 kilometres of Pakistan, is dogged by security concerns. India and Pakistan will both benefit from its construction, though, since it will give them reliable access to the world’s fourth largest gas reserves.
For its part, China has already made substantial investments in Central Asia. In December, 2010, a 1,833 kilometre pipeline carrying gas from the Saman-Depe gasfields of eastern Turkmenistan to China’s Xinjiang region went online. China has made substantial investments in energy infrastructure in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
Beijing has also launched a number of ambitious highway and rail projects linking Central Asia to its western regions.
The highways and rail links the “New Silk Route” projects envisage will also give Europe a level of direct access to Central Asia it has not enjoyed since at least the sixteenth century, when the caravans that ferried goods across the region were rendered redundant by the new oceanic trade.