|Afghanistan signs gas pipeline framework agreement: Afghan officials|
|Written by Rahim Aria|
|Wednesday, 22 September 2010|
Afghanistan has signed the gas pipeline agreement with India, Pakistan and Turkmenistan countries which allows the Turkmenistan government to export its gas to Pakistan and India as well as China via Afghan soil in the next four years , said the Afghan Minister for Mines during a press conference here in Kabul.
This pipeline which transports the gas from Central Asia to Southern Asia countries is considered to be an effective tool which allows Afghanistan to boost its economy in the region, Afghan official said.
“This agreement contains of responsibilities, a measure for transferring gas, pricing the gas and other tax issues for Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Turkmenistan sides.” The Minister for Mines said.
He said President Hamid Karzai will sign the “Inter-Government Agreement” with three other presidents on the end of December 2010.
Wahidulllah Sharani, the Minister for Mines said this pipeline would pass through western Herat province and southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces where are known as the Taliban birthplace and center of fighting between Taliban and NATO led troops.
According to Minister for Mines, this pipeline will start from Turkmenistan border in western Afghanistan and it will end to Spin Boldak district of southern Kandahar province where is known as the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
According to the Minister for Mines, only 917 kilometers of 1800 kilometers of this pipeline is in Afghan soil would be in Afghan soil.
“This pipeline would create thousands of employment for Afghans as well as a huge exploitation of gas by local Afghans in western and southern Afghanistan. It is planned that in the early years, Afghanistan should use 5 billion meter cube gas”. The Minister said.
The work on the pipeline would start in the upcoming months and it will complete by the end of year 2014, Afghan officials said.
The Afghan Ministry of Mines signs this agreement in a time that insurgency and Taliban attacks have increased in all Afghanistan.
Afghans are afraid that huge corruption inside the Afghan government and Taliban insurgency would be an obstacle for the implementation of pipeline project in Afghanistan.
They say that Helmand and Kandahar provinces are the strongholds of Taliban leadership and they will certainly impede this project.
However, Afghan security officials promised the people that they will secure the pipeline route and deploy more forces in the pipeline route to minimize the activities of Taliban.
The Minister also said that they are seeking the help of local Afghans to protect the gas line from insurgents’ attacks and destructions.
Photo: Rahim Aria
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 September 2010 )|
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