Friday, September 08, 2006


1. The Caspian Sea Basin (Kazakstan, Turkmenistan etc.) holds between 11 and 12 TRILLION dollars in oil and gas resources
2. There are only three ways to get it out:
- East to China
- West through Iran, Russia, and Turkey to Europe
- South through Afghanistan and Pakistan
3. The Taliban who controlled Afghanistan before 9/11 made pipeline deals with non-US companies (Bridas & Unocal) and refused to change them to give control of the region's resources to the US

The port at Gwadar is without doubt currently Pakistan's flagship infrastructure project. A source of great pride for the Pakistani government, its much anticipated inauguration as the country's energy hub has been twice delayed and it is envisaged to become operational by year's end.

Built with Chinese assistance - just how much is debatable, though US$200 million for the first phase is an accepted figure plus loans - this multibillion-dollar scheme is regarded as not only an important economic asset but also a strategic one.

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