Work begins on Afghan section of gas pipeline to Pakistan, India: Turkmenistan

Laura Christensen
February 25, 2018

This was the first leg of the ground-breaking ceremony, which was also attended by Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and India's Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar, according to information received here.

Addressing the ceremony, PM Abbasi said Pakistan was committed to long-term economic goals which guarantee stability in the region.

Construction has begun on the Afghanistan stretch of an ambitious pipeline that is to carry natural gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The Afghan government and business community also see the pipeline as a milestone in the war-shattered country's economic development.

Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, MJ Akbar, has compared metaphorically Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project to "a dove in a storm", saying, "we must protect it with all our will and capacity".

Ghani said this project was the start of trust in Afghanistan.

Political analyst Framurz Tamana in talks with local media asserted that TAPI as an economic corridor could enhance regional cooperation.

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The Turkmenistan president meanwhile stressed the need for increasing his country's cooperation with Afghanistan.

Feroz Masjidi, deputy minister of policy and planning for Commerce and Industries, believes that the gas provided by TAPI project to Afghanistan would be used for improvement of industries and factories in the conflict-strife country. He mentioned that Turkmenistan-Pakistan relations were based on two pillars namely energy security of which TAPI was a flagship project, and connectivity to include rail, road, information technology and fiber optic.

A Pakistani cultural troupe performed at the occasion along with their counterparts from partner TAPI countries. Berdimuhamadov expressed hope that Pakistan will benefit from the supply of gas especially for the industry once TAPI reaches Pakistan.

He observed that the Port of Gwadar will provide the most efficient access to the sea to Turkmenistan.

The energy crisis in Pakistan, which suffers about 12 hours of power cuts a day, has worsened in recent years amid 4,000 megawatts of electricity shortfall.

He described groundbreaking of TAPI project as a historic occasion, which recreates historical linkages that the region had.

Other reports by My Hot News

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