The Kabul Times.
Economic Opinion

ADB should not suspend TAPI project

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While the people of Afghanistan had tied many hopes and dreams to the TAPI project in the region, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it was going to delay the project. Even though, it was acting earlier as the facilitator and coordinator of the project, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) paused all due diligence and processing activities until the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is acknowledged and legitimized by the UN and big economies of the world. Many residents, in interviews with The Kabul Times said that the countries involved should come forward to implement such enormous project, which can change the face of economy in the country. They believe Afghanistan is currently experiencing an overall security; in addition, there are no security threats in the country. Therefore, the stakeholder countries should make the move implementing the project as soon as possible. Earlier, The International News, Pakistan news website quoted a top Pakistani official of the Energy Ministry saying that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had paused all due diligence and processing activities of TAPI until the legitimate recognition of the IEA.
Hammad Azhar, Energy Minister of Pakistan said that ADB had suspended the TAPI project due diligence and processing activities until further notice. On the other hand, a spokesman of ADB, based on anonymity condition due to the sensitivity of the issue also confirmed that ADB had suspended the TAPI project until further next consideration.
However, The Ministry of Finance denied the report. Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance said that the ADB is willing to engage in a consultative capacity. He added that the project is largely owned and supported by Turkmenistan and the ADB was playing a role as a financial advisor.
The IEA stated that the Chairman of TAPI project Murad Amanov and Turkmenistan Ambassador to Kabul Hoja Ovezov were given the project plan in a meeting two weeks ago.
Aqiljan Azam, Deputy Spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said that the chairman and ambassador were ensured of security in the country. He added that they said that the essentials of the project have been met and the implementation work will kick off in the near future.
The proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline is expected to transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, according to the ADB official website statement.
The major portion of the pipeline is to pass through Afghanistan. The TAPI gas pipeline has a length of 1,814 km with a capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually. The TAPI pipeline would be laid down through Herat – Kandahar – Chaman – Zhob – DG Khan – Multan and reach Fazilika, a city at the Indian border. The TAPI project is aimed to provide job opportunities for Afghans. According to some economists, the implementation of the project will provide job opportunities for around 12, 000 people in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, IEA Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Shaikh Shahabuddin Delawar is optimistic that the meeting with high-ranking Turkmen delegation at the dawn of new year designates the seriousness of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, to complete the project.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has often said that the practical work would begin in the near future and all the preliminary work has been prepared for its implementation, yet the sudden news was devastating for the ordinary public mind. Amiri

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The Kabul Times.