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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkmenistan are to hold talks on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan–India (TAPI) gas pipeline project in Islamabad on May 15-16, 2023, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

Turkmen ambassador to Pakistan has inquired and expressed interest for an invitation from Pakistan for the delegation on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) power transmission line project.

According to Turkmen Embassy during a meeting between Ambassador Atadjan Movlamov and Minister for Power, Khurram Dastgir Khan on January 26, 2023, the latter had expressed his interest in continuation of Technical Working Group meetings on TAP power transmission line project between Turkmenistan and Pakistan.

TAPI gas pipeline: Pakistan willing to go ahead with or without India

The sources said that Pakistan has shown willingness to go ahead with TAPI gas pipeline project with or without India as Afghanistan is ready to raise a special force for the project.

Turkmenistan was keen on moving ahead with the project and maintained that Pakistan wanted to implement the project at the earliest and would complete it with or without India’s participation. In case India chose to leave the project Pakistan was willing to buy India’s proposed share of gas, the sources added.

On the issue of Afghanistan, the sources said the security and political situation in the country remained a stumbling block.

“If favourable factors were created including raising stakes of the Afghans, the security problem could be addressed,” the sources said, contending that transit revenue from the pipeline would make up around 80 to 85 percent of Afghanistan’s annual budget making it imperative for them to ensure its security.

Afghan interim leadership, sources said, has informally indicated its readiness to raise a dedicated security force to ensure safety of the pipeline.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Tulukan Mairandi May 13, 2023 02:14pm
The pipeline will not be viable without India. Pakistan and Afghanistan simply don't consume enough gas. And they have no money to pay for what little they consume.
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