Great Powers, Core Members, and the Fate of Regional Cooperation: A Study of Indian and the US Behavior towards India-Pakistan-Iran Gas Pipeline Project

Manzoor Ahmad Naazer


This paper elucidates the significance of the role and behavior of a core member - occupying a central position and politically, militarily, and economically superior to others – and the outside great or superpower for the success of the process of regional cooperation especially in the developing world. The core state plays a vital role in either success or failure of any regional cooperative arrangement. Outside powers, especially the great or superpowers can also affect the fate of regional schemes. Moreover, the nature of relations between the core member state and an outside great or superpower also affects in diverse ways the process of regionalism. Under this theoretical framework, this paper investigates why the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline proposal could not materialize. The paper explores internal and external factors that halted the progress of the project with special reference to the role and behavior of India and the United States. It illuminates how the Indo-US strategic partnership and nuclear deal overshadowed a crucial project that was designed to create interdependence between three states, especially India and Pakistan and establish peace in the region. The study finds that India emphasized its connections with the United States to realize its ambitions of becoming a key player in world affairs. The paper shows how the US distracted India from pursuing a crucial regional cooperation project by providing payoffs and incentives that jeopardized the process of regionalism in South Asia.


India; Pakistan; Iran; the United States; regionalism; gas pipeline; nuclear energy; interdependence

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Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
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