The construction work on one of the largest regional projects, the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India Pipeline (TAPI), began after a deal was signed by the four countries’ heads of state. The scale of the project and the economic benefits it will bring to Afghanistan prompted people in many parts of the country including Helmand province to stage celebrations and announce their support for the project.
In an event that the representatives of the people of Helmand including community elders, religious scholars and locals came together in Lashkar Gah city to share their jubilations with the Provincial Governor and the rest of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA).
In his address at the event, the ex-Governor, Mirza Khan Rahimi, signalled out good economic times ahead of the people of Helmand as a large part of the pipeline will pass through the province. "The TAPI pipeline project, in the short term while under construction, will bring job opportunities to hundreds of people in Helmand only. And the billions of dollars in revenue for many years to come will benefit not only Helmand province but the entire country," he said. "This is a sizeable achievement that the GIRoA promised to deliver for the people of Afghanistan."
According to Governor Rahimi, the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) are providing and maintaining the security of the areas where the pipeline construction is taking place.
Nadir Khan Aka, a local elder from Lashkar Gah city, praised the GIRoA's effort for securing the long-awaited deal and announced his community's support for the pipeline. "Our people will stand with our government and support and cooperate with the ANDSF. This project is vital for the people of Afghanistan, and we all will benefit from it," he said in a speech at the ceremony.
Mohammad Sharif, a resident of Nad Ali district who worked on several development projects in the recent years, told Sada e Azadi that the TAPI pipeline is by far the biggest project in Afghanistan. "Our people will have enormous job opportunities in the construction of the pipeline. I am very proud of our government's achievement," he continued.
The purpose the TAPI pipeline is to deliver natural gas from the Central Asian country, Turkmenistan to the Indian sub-continent through Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition to job opportunities and the revenue, Afghanistan will also have access to the natural gas from the pipeline.
The rising demand for natural resources for producing energy in South Asia presents Afghanistan a pole position to benefit as a transient route, without even tapping its resources.