Work on Afghan section of TAPI gas pipeline project begins

Kabul: The work on the Afghanistan section of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project began in the war-torn country on Friday.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the 1,814 km-long gas pipeline that will feed Turkmenistan gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally to India.

The inauguration ceremony organised in Herat province of the country was also attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, and Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar, Khaama Press reported.

Ghani delivered the message of regional cooperation during the ceremony.

He said Kandahar, Helmand, Nimroz and Herat residents have vowed to assist the Afghan forces in helping in the completion of the project work on time.

According to Ghani, other projects, including electricity, fibre optics, and railway network, will also be implemented alongside the TAPI gas pipeline.

Ghani said Herat province would remain the main roundabout between the Central and South Asia, but other provinces in the South and West would also benefit from the projects.

“Herat gives the message of confidence, hope and rehabilitation to Afghanistan and the region. Afghanistan will not spare any efforts to implement the project,” he said.

Akbar said India was committed to supporting the long-awaited project, which would take two years to complete, but had been several years in the planning.

The Pakistan Prime Minister said his country was committed to long-term economic goals which guaranteed stability in the region.

Turkmenistan President stressed the need for increasing his country’s cooperation with Afghanistan.

He said the implementation of the TAPI project was the biggest achievement for the countries involved.

The project is a rare show of cooperation between Pakistan and India as well as the often contentious neighbours Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The pipeline will have a capacity to carry 33 billion cubic meters gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India through Afghanistan.(ANI)