TAPI resurfaces during Berdymuhamedov’s visit

TOP leadership of Pakistan and Turkmenistan held very fruitful and productive discussions in the capital on Wednesday in which both sides agreed to further bolster their multilateral relations and enhance their economic and trade relations. With no irritants in bilateral relations, both the countries in fact enjoy excellent relations and the same is visible from frequent high level exchanges between the two countries.
Given its geo strategic location, the deep sea port Gwadar located at the mouth of gulf provides the shortest route to the Central Asian Republics (CARs) for trade with different countries. The same point was very rightly highlighted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his interaction with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and invited him and other CARs to use the facility for trade purposes. Trade through this port as well as other trans-regional projects indeed have the potential to significantly generate economic activity and integration through greater connectivity. We are glad that Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, inaugurated last year during Prime Minister’s visit to Turkmenistan, resurfaced again in top level discussion. MOU on this mega project was signed way back in 1990 but regrettably it continued to linger on for different reasons including the precarious situation in the region. Barring some understandable obstacles, we believe that Pakistani government in the past also did not demonstrate the required interest towards the implementation of the project which has the potential to address the massive energy requirements of the country. Under this project, the gas from Turkmenistan will be transported through Afghanistan to Pakistan and then to India, and we are repeatedly emphasizing in our columns that the gas received from this source can rejuvenate our otherwise dying industry by meeting their gas requirements. Given the energy shortages faced by Pakistan, we are sure that the present government will remain engaged with the Turkmenistan and other concerned parties for its completion within the stipulated period to meet the deficit which has greatly affected the lives of both domestic and industrial consumers. In addition, we believe that such a project could serve as a bridge for building friendly relations and contribute to peace by creating inter dependence in the region.

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