According to newspaper reports, a detailed survey and feasibility study of the Pakistani portion of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline will start this month as a German company has been engaged in the project. Official sources claim a Turkmen delegation of experts are visiting next week to prepare a feasibility report and conduct the route survey to officially start the gas pipeline project in Pakistan. Earlier, in November last year, the Asian Development Bank offered a $1 billion loan to finance the project which will cater to the energy needs of three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. The total cost of the project is estimated at $10 billion. Now the Turkmen experts will finalise the pipeline route in Afghanistan and complete feasibility study. The construction of the pipeline and development of gas field have already started in Turkmenistan and it is a good omen that the regional as well as the international financial institutions are supporting the project. The world donor agencies are willing to lend money and it is up to the countries involved to expedite the work. Two major hurdles are in the way of this project of vital importance. The first is Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and the other is hostile policy of India against Pakistan.
A company has been set up by the four nations in which Turkmenistan holds lion share, at least 85 percent stakes, while the other three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India have five percent shareholding each. Five percent shareholding requires the three countries to raise $200 million as initial investment. Experts believe the project will be commissioned as per schedule as efforts are going on to achieve financial close. The groundbreaking of the project has already been performed in December 2015 in which Turkmenistan will invest nearly $25 billion, at least $15 billion to develop gasfields and $10 billion to lay 1,680 km pipeline to connect the four countries and deliver 3.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day.A consortium of Japanese companies has already been engaged to develop the gasfields in Turkmenistanat a fast-track basis.The gas pipeline is the future of the industries in the energy starved countries and a calculated effort by the four nations to jointly push economic development in their respective countries.
As a matter of fact, poverty, illiteracy and security are the main challenges for the three countries and they need to jointly work to develop their economies. Peace is the only choice, but the neighbours in our west and east sides never miss any opportunity to damage Pakistan. The regional peace is guarantee to prosperity of the people of three nations as hostilities and wars only increase troubles.