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Editorial: TAPI an ambitious gas project

The agreement of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project is now closer to a reality. Energy starving India and Pakistan have joined hands with Afghanistan and struck a deal with Turkmenistan to build a gas pipeline at a cost of $10b. The project was signed in 2016. President Ashraf Ghani in that time called TAPI as a new silk route. The project will also revive Afghanistan’s importance in the region. This is a national and regional project to defend the country’s future generation. TAPI is not a simple project—if one look deeply in it can easily realize that this project would steer Asian countries toward more progress and development.

This one is the most important energy projects universally, where the energy-hungry markets of India and Pakistan would receive enormous gas, while gas carrier crossing from the southern Afghanistan. At real scene, Afghanistan is highway to transfer gas to these states. TAPI is an ambitious pipeline, connecting central and South Asia. At the same time, the project is in immense interests of the four countries in areas of economic development.

Moreover, it is also very much visible that nobody wants to have a pipeline only; rather they are looking for a great partnership aimed at triggering the Asian countries toward a durable peace and stability. The implementation of the project at somehow would lead to a ground where India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan could stand sincere with each other. It is a crystal fact that Kabul and New Delhi is honest in every inch of their movements, while Islamabad is a big untrustable ally to the both states. There is hoped that Pakistan, not only in TAPI project, but also to stand genuine in every affairs related to the regional countries.

Taking a practical step, agreement for the engineering design of TAPI project was signed by the Afghan Gas Enterprise and Germany’s ILF Company. The signing ceremony was attended by high-ranking Afghan officials, including the President Ashraf Ghani. It showed that Kabul has pinned high hope on the project.  According to officials, the first phase of the project, including security evaluation, design, demining, the survey of the pipeline’s route, social and environmental study of the gas project would be completed in one year. The two phases would take four years. Afghanistan would benefit $400 million per year from this project. It is a fact that through TAPI, Afghanistan could be changed into a transit hub for Central Asia, and it is also a massive economic corridor for the war-hit country.

Furthermore, it is a window of opportunity, and the governments of the four countries should leave no stone unturned in a bid to brush aside some pessimistic believes that the TAPI would never see the light of the day.

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