The acting minister of mines and petroleum stated Tuesday that delegates of Turkmenistan expect to visit Kabul on March 10 to discuss the TAPI project which has reportedly been paused.
Shahabuddin Delawar, acting minister of Mines and Petroleum, said Afghanistan is fully prepared to implement the TAPI project. “There are no problems on the Afghanistan side, we will do our best to resume soon. Previously, there was a security problem, but security is completely provided for in Afghanistan now and TAPI partners know this,” said Shahabuddin Delawar.
In the meantime, a Pakistan news agency quoted a top Pakistani official of the Energy Ministry saying that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has paused all due diligence and processing activities of TAPI until the official recognition of the Islamic Emirate by the United Nations and major global economies.
At a meeting between a Turkmenistan delegation and Pakistani officials on January 31, 2022, the Turkmen side disclosed that ADB had reduced its interest in the project due to the global lack of recognition of the Taliban regime. Meanwhile, Afghan economists believe the project is facing delays due to regional rivalry between India and Pakistan.
“Rivalry between India and Pakistan and rivalry between Turkmenistan, Iran and Qatar, as well as the internal political problems in Afghanistan, all caused the TAPI to be paused,” said Sayed Massoud, a university professor.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline is planned to span 1,680km and connect Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan with Pakistan and India.—Tolo News