Balochistan crucial in building TAPI Gas Pipeline

Published on – December 11, 2018 – 7:00 am

After a deliberate lapse of two long decades, the Turkmen Gas Pipeline Project is being revived following interests shown in it by all stakeholders, countries like Pakistan. Turkmenistan requests Pakistan to kick off work on TAPI pipeline project next year. A report in our news columns said.

The construction of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) pipeline will begin in the first quarter of 2019 and the project will be completed in two and a half years. Moreover, Afghanistan and Pakistan have given sovereign guarantees to ensure the pipeline’s security.

On Friday, Muhammetmyrat Amanov, CEO, TAPI Pipeline Company Ltd called on Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources on Friday at the Ministry of Petroleum.

Following the fall of the Soviet Union, most of the Muslim Republics of Central Asia, including Turkmenistan, had become independent States and they were looking towards the Western countries for technical, financial, political and diplomatic assistance while they had an eye on the unending Mekran Coast in the open sea for breaking their economic and natural blockade.

They were all landlocked countries and the nearest ports to Central Asia were Gwadar-Chah Bahar- Konarak corridor from where they wanted to export their huge natural wealth, including oil and gas reserves.

It is the first mega energy project launched on the Mekran Coast. Earlier, erstwhile UNICOL, an American energy company, planned to lay down the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Gwadar first after passing through the barren Afghan land and it will be taken to Multan on way to India to meet the growing needs of two highly industrialized states of Gujrat and Mahrashtra.

An important energy project of the world was sabotaged by the anti-people forces in mid-1990s using the Taliban who demanded billions of dollar in cash and tens of thousands jobs in return for security to the pipeline known as TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline). Obviously, TAPI project was shelved. In recent years, the project had been revived in principle and its details are being worked out in haste against changing some priorities.

TAPI pipeline will cross whole of Afghanistan, enter at border town Chaman and from Loralai, it will be linked up with Multan, the final destination in Pakistan. We are unaware of the fact that it was part of the plan or simple a suggestion for the proposed gas pipeline. The gas pipeline will draw all its direct and indirect economies when it passes through the Mekran Coast and parallel to the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project.

The TAPI gas pipeline project is part of the greater plans for the region to linkup the economies of Central Asia and West Asia so that they should trade with highly developed countries, including India, using the Mekran Coast as hub of their international trade. Pakistani Balochistan is ideally located to provide this linkup through its Mekran Coast at Gwadar and Pasni where the regional countries are planning to export their oil and gas using the facilities available on the open sea.

Most of the Gulf countries are planning to construct oil or gas pipeline direct to the open sea for unhampered export of their gas and oil resources to the international market. The Asian Development Bank may finance the grand energy corridor of the region near Gwadar and Pasni, Gwadar being a major and mother commercial port while Pasni can be the world biggest oil or gas terminal or the world.

Developments project of the region linking Central Asia with West Asia through railroad boosting international trade between the two regions. India had reserved two berths at the Chah Bahar Port and on the same pattern, countries of the Central Asia can reserve berths on Pasni energy corridor or Gwadar Port boosting their trade or improving commercial links with rest of the world.