Pakistan Economy Watch opposes TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) Gas Pipeline Project

Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said Government has been wasting time on a costly and highly uncertain Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project while ignoring the only viable option of importing gas from Iran.

America is opposing Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project to counter Tehran’s influence while throwing full weight behind TAPI to benefit western multinational companies that enjoy control over Daulatabad gas reserves, said the PEW. Increasing stakes of American elite in the oil and gas giants has become a threat to stability of many countries, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of the PEW on Sunday.

He said that the US policies have been damaging Pakistan while our government seems reluctant to move forward with plan to import natural gas from Iran despite knowing that there is no proper substitute available. He said that the performance local oil and gas exploration and production companies remain unsatisfactory while efforts to import LNG could not be materialized.

He said that the proposed TAPI, if materialized, may not help Pakistan in the long run as it is a part of US hidden agenda behind war on terror which can be best described in two words oil and gas. The Nov 25 statement of US Ambassador to Pakistan in which he opposed Iran gas pipeline and supported gas import from Turkmenistan was contrary to the facts and our interests, he observed.

Dr. Mughal said that Pakistan cannot ignore global energy giant Iran, on the cost of its economy, to fulfil objectives of controversial US foreign policy. He said that the top government functionaries in Islamabad are assuring everybody that the Iran gas plans remain unchanged but the facts appears otherwise. Peace pipeline is a practical idea in comparison to unfeasible TAPI which will cross Afghanistan’s Southern regions, he noted. The weak, inefficient and corrupt Karzai administration may not be capable of taking care of the mega project, he feared.

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