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Pakistan eyes 'peace pipeline' for region

It hopes a deal to ship Iranian gas to India via Pakistan can boost its energy supply, regional ties.

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Along the scenic coast in Pakistan's gas-rich Balochistan Province, a weathered roadside shop advertises "fuel available at every price."

Inside, heady fumes fill a room stacked with cylinders of compressed gas and barrels full of gasoline – fuel smuggled from Iran through the rugged border region 50 miles west of this Pakistani city, explains Balach Abdullah, the owner.

From here, the fuel makes its way as far as Karachi, Pakistan's largest city.

The Pakistani government is hoping to turn this clandestine exchange into a major energy and trade route.

The Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline proposal is a $7.5 billion project that would transport gas from the western Iranian Pars gas field to India through Pakistan along a 1,500-mile route.

The pipeline would be a triumph for Pakistan. The country hopes to make itself a major energy player linking the gas in Central Asia and the oil in the Middle East to the fast-growing economies of China and India.

But geopolitical considerations, among others, have so far blocked the proposal from becoming a reality.

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