President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday addressed a gathering of tribal elders from around the province on the importance of the TAPI gas pipeline project that was recently inaugurated in Turkmenistan.
The pipeline, which will carry gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan, has been hailed as a major breakthrough by the international community in terms of regional connectivity.Ghani said as such on Sunday when he stated that "TAPI project has been hailed the world over."He said: "The country supports regional and international projects so as to ensure positive change. More positive changes will arrive in the months ahead."He said that besides TAPI being of enormous economic importance, the project is also a step forward to change Afghanistan into an economic hub in the region.According to him three sections of the TAPI line will create a corridor – which will come under construction soon. In addition a fiber optic network system will also launch soon, he said.Another new development was the 300 megawatt electric transmission line that will also be launched soon to transfer power from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan.Touching on other new developments, Ghani said that government will soon release funding for the third phase of the building of the Kamal Khan Dam in Nimroz province.But going back to the TAPI project, Ghani said the pipeline will change Afghanistan from a conflict zone to an economic zone.In conclusion he said Afghanistan is rich in natural resources so "let's develop this country".According to reports, more than 750 kilometers of pipeline will pass through Afghanistan. It will start in Kasht district in Herat province, and make its way through Farah, Nimroz and Helmand, ending up in Kandahar before crossing the border to Quetta in Pakistan and on to India.The implementation of TAPI will earn Afghanistan up to $500 million USD a year in transit duties and the project will also help Afghanistan purchase 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas for thirty years at a reasonable price. The gas will be utilized in Hajigak iron mine and at the Mes Aynak copper project.Economic analysts say the implementation of TAPI can leverage extended economic, political and commercial ties within member states, which include Turkmenistan, Pakistan and India.