Published: Sun, February 25, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

PM in Turkmenistan to join TAPI gas pipeline inauguration

PM in Turkmenistan to join TAPI gas pipeline inauguration

Earlier, a ceremony on completion of Turkmenistan section of TAPI pipeline project was held at Turkmen city of Serhetabad.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said that Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline was an important project for Pakistan due to growing energy needs.

Among hundreds of guests attending the ceremony were President of Turkmenistan Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India's Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar. He added that South Asia was being connected with Central Asia through Afghanistan after more than a century of division.

Like a long straw sucking at the energy riches in Central Asia, the 1,127-mile-long pipe will connect the state of Punjab in northern India with the Galkynysh gas field in the desert in eastern Turkmenistan. The successful accomplishment of the project would help accelerate pace of socio-economic activities in the participating countries besides creating direct and indirect employment opportunities. However, there are indications that security of the project would not be a serious issue as Taliban spokesman too has given assurance to protect the pipeline because of its significance for Afghanistan.

The overall funding picture for the mammoth gas pipeline remains unclear, with energy giants such as France's Total failing to follow up on reported interest in the project.

"It [TAPI] will provide gas pipeline, power transmission, roads and rail and an economic zone". He assured the Turkmen, Afghan and Indian leaders of Pakistan's full cooperation in making TAPI a success.

President Ashraf Ghani attended a ceremony on the completion of the Turkmenistan section of the key pipeline project, TAPI, on Friday.

He said he did not see just one gas line but several gas pipelines to overcome energy shortages. The prime minister stated that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was the most visible part of the Belt and Road Initiative and stressed on enhancement in bilateral cooperation between the two countries while exploring new avenues for trade, particularly in livestock, information technology and agriculture.

The Prime Minister also congratulated the ADB for its role in making the project a reality.

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