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Central Asia: South Asia Energy Project a Pipe Dream?

Central Asia's integrated power plan may short circuit if corruption and security are not controlled. (Photo: EurasiaNet)

In early June, a newspaper in Pakistan announced the Asian Development Bank would withdraw from a much-anticipated energy transmission project that aims to connect Central and South Asia. The report stated that security fears in Afghanistan were prompting the ADB to drop its 40 percent interest in the project.

The newspaper, the Express Tribune, cited a senior official from Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power as the source of its scoop. If true, the move would be a significant blow to American-backed efforts to link Central Asia’s economies with Afghanistan and South Asia, a project known as the New Silk Road.

An ADB representative in Dushanbe would not confirm or deny the report that the bank is pulling out of the project, only stating that the bank is “exploring different opportunities” and “taking a practical approach in supporting regional energy trade, and is building energy infrastructure in stages to support an improved regional energy market.”

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Central Asia: South Asia Energy Project a Pipe Dream?

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