TAPI pipeline in Afghanistan to resume soon: Taliban

Kabul, March 18 (IANS) The Taliban-led government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said negotiations over technical issues of the TAPI, or the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, pipeline have taken place and the project will resume in the spring, the media reported on Friday.
“We hope to immediately reach an exact date on the restart of the TAPI pipeline project in the spring. We hope the work on other projects including TAPI will be resumed soon too,” TOLO News quoted Shafi Azam, a senior official at the Ministry, as saying.
Economists have suggested that the TAPI pipeline project would also provide job opportunities for the Afghan citizens.
“I consider the resumption of this project at such a critical time a positive step because when this project is resumed, the people will be provided with both gas and job opportunities,” said Ahmad Muneeb Rasa, an economist.
However, many reports were published about the resumption of TAPI projects in Afghanistan, but it is yet to begin.
“The accomplishment of the major economic projects in the country is in the hands of the regional countries such as India and Pakistan. As long as the interests of the two countries are not ensured, the implementation of this project will be just a possibility,” TOLO News quoted Shakir Yaqob, an economist, as saying.
The TAPI gas pipeline is planned to span 1,680 km and connect Afghanistan’s Herat and Kandahar provinces with Pakistan and India.
Afghanistan will pay 5 per cent of the project’s expenses.
The project began nearly three decades ago.

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