Afghanistan: Taliban says will help ensure security of TAPI gas pipeline


KABUL (TCA) — The government of Afghanistan says it has taken enhanced security measures to protect the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural-gas pipeline project, construction of whose Afghan section was inaugurated by leaders and senior officials from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and India on February 23.

The 1,814-kilometer gas pipeline will pass through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. At least 816 kilometers of the pipeline will pass through the territory of Afghanistan, TOLOnews reported.

The pipeline passes through Herat, Farah, Nimroz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the TAPI pipeline will be constructed alongside the Kandahar-Herat Highway in western Afghanistan, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan.

“As far as it belongs to Afghanistan security forces, they are fully ready to maintain security of this project,” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s deputy spokesman Dawa Khan Minapal told TOLOnews on Friday.

Analysts said the TAPI project can bring changes in people’s lives in Afghanistan and that it will have a positive impact on the country’s economy.

President Ghani on Friday launched work on Afghanistan section of TAPI and meanwhile attended an event on the completion of the project in Turkmenistan. Addressing the event in Turkmenistan, he said Afghanistan reconnects South Asia with Central Asia.

“Afghanistan’s policy is the connectivity policy, not separation. South Asia will be connected with Central Asia through Afghanistan after more than a century of separation,” Ghani said. “TAPI is not a project but an economic corridor.”

Taliban in a statement on Friday said the group will help in security of the project if needed, “because the outline of the project was first prepared during the Taliban regime” – 1996 to 2001.

According to the Taliban statement, most areas which the pipeline passes through in Afghanistan are under control of the group.

Sergey Kwan