Now, India, Pak, Afghan officials bond over TAPI gas pipeline

A file photograph. Photograph:( DNA )

WION Web Team Kabul, Afghanistan Feb 23, 2018, 10.17 AM (IST)

India's minister of state for external affairs M J Akbar today joined Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to open Tapi gas pipeline section in Afganistan.

Turkish President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Pakistani PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi were also present at the inauguration.

Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India pipeline (TAPI) is set to start pumping natural gas from Turkmenistan's Galkynysh gas field in 2020.

The 1,840-kilometre pipeline funded by the Asian Development Bank is being developed by the Galkynysh – TAPI Pipeline Company.

The gas pipeline will run from  Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India.

"There were pessimistic voices, but now we are witnessing the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline," Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said.

Turkmenistan depends heavily on China for its market however once the TAPI project gets underway, President Berdymukhamedov's central asian country will find new markets in Pakistan, India and  Afghanistan.

The pipeline connects Afganistan through the Kandahar–Herat Highway through to Quetta and Multan in Pakistan.

India's participation in the project was in doubt for several years due to its relations with Pakistan, however, trade finally won the day with both countries on board.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ghani said the pipeline would "unite countries" , in an oblique reference to frayed relations between India, Pakistan and Afganistan.