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Hamid Ansari dismisses security concerns looming over TAPI pipeline project

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 1:05 IST
  • The $7.6 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline was inaugurated in Marry City, Turkmenistan, on 13 December.
  • Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani hailed the project as a great idea for regional cooperation.
  • The pipeline will transport gas from Turkmenistan to India, via Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On the inauguration of the $7.6 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline in Marry City, Turkmenistan, on 13 December, Vice-President Hamid Ansari hailed the project as a great idea for regional cooperation.

The pipeline will transport gas from the fields in Turkmenistan's Galkynysh (South Yoiotan Osman) to Herat and Kandahar province in Afghanistan and Multan in Pakistan before entering India at Fazilka in Punjab.

Also Read: 4 countries, $7.6 billion, 1 pipeline. It's not all gas

According to an Economic Times report, Ansari also dismissed speculation that the work on the pipeline may be hampered by security issues in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

After the inauguration of the pipeline, Ansari met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in an informal setting on Sunday.

Here's a look at what the leaders of the four nations had to say about the project:

Vice-President Hamid Ansari

  • "We are going to be perpetually energy short. So, therefore, the choice for us is not between this source and that source. For us the option is from every possible source," the Vice-President said.

  • "It was here (Marry city), centuries ago, that caravans carrying goods paused to refresh themselves and thereby bestow on generations to come a colourful tapestry of mutually beneficial exchanges. It was here that our ideas and imaginations, spirituality and song, art and architecture met and mingled, and a shared history was written," Ansari said.
  • The Vice-President said that in committing to a shared future and to a vision of common prosperity, the four countries were moving beyond an alien script written in the ink of imperialism.
  • TAPI reflects our strong desire to put this chapter behind us and stride confidently into the future, Ansari said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

  • The Afghan president said the pipeline has helped overcome history of doubts and scepticism.

  • The project will help repair ties that were "ruptured" following the advent of the Soviet Union, Ghani said.
  • He also said that using gas for energy production would help lower the carbon footprints of the four countries - Gas emits about half of the amount of carbon emitted by coal for generating power.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

  • With completion of this project, Pakistan will get 1325 MMCFD supply of natural gas which will help overcome the energy deficit, Sharif said.

  • The Pakistan PM said the project would increase the regional integrity in Central Asia and South Asian region.
  • He said Pakistan has been working on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and we invite all other regional states to be part of the project.

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow

  • At the ceremony, Berdimuhamedow hoped that the project would get operationalised by December 2019.

  • He said the project proves that Turkmenistan can carry such huge amount of gas to places where it is required.

(With inputs from PTI)

First published: 13 December 2015, 5:43 IST