On February 23, in the history of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India magistral gas pipeline, another significant event connected with the practical part of the project implementation will be held - Turkmenistan will pass the baton in the construction of the pipeline to neighboring Afghanistan.
It is expected that on the sidelines of the ceremony, representatives of the four countries will complete the process of registration of commercial contracts designed to ensure further progress in laying the 1840-kilometer energy highway between Central and South Asia, according to ORIENT news Agency.
In addition to the direct purpose - the delivering Turkmen energy to the consumers of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India - the TAPI project, without exaggeration, can be called a constructive concept with a high stabilizing potential in terms of Indian - Pakistani relations.
How can TAPI pipeline gas help "warm up" India-Pakistan relations and ease tensions between these two "arguing" neighbors?
The severe energy shortages faced by both Pakistan and India have significantly impeded the economic development of both countries. Thus, BP experts predict a 162 percent increase in India's natural gas consumption to 2035 at an average annual rate of 1.6 percent. At the same time, the use of gas will outstrip other fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, in the energy basket.
In Pakistan, power outages have become chronic. In addition, energy shortages have a negative impact on industrial production. According to the latest forecasts of local regulatory structures, the daily gas shortage by 2019-2020 may exceed 113 million cubic meters.
Consequently, energy security and the establishment of a stable supply of energy through the future TAPI pipeline could become a sphere of mutual interest between Pakistan and India. And where in the relationship is dominated by economic benefits and interests, controversies, as a rule, recede into the background.
With the help of TAPI, two states can find another promising area of cooperation - a common effort for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan. After all, peace and stability in this country, which will be the first transit point of Turkmen gas through the gas pipeline, are vital for the success of the entire energy corridor.
Thus, TAPI has every chance to become an energy bridge through which Pakistan and India will start a counter movement for the sake of friendship, peace and prosperity.