Kabul, Jan 10 (EFE).- The Taliban announced Monday that they will deploy a special unit of 30,000 troops to resume work on the TAPI gas pipeline, suspended due to insecurity in Afghanistan after the Islamists seized power in August last year.
“The plan is to deploy a 30,000-member security unit for the security of the TAPI project. They will be providing security along the route of the project in all parts of the provinces where the pipeline is being constructed,” Taliban spokesperson Bilal Karimi told EFE.
The spokesperson added that they have already begun work on the draft of this plan, which will be the first under the Taliban to deploy such a large number of troops for the security of a development project in the country.
The gas pipeline enters Afghanistan through the western province of Herat, on the border with Turkmenistan, and crosses the country to connect with neighboring Pakistan through southern Kandahar province.
The Taliban spokesman added that the Ministry of Defense, the Interior Ministry and the Intelligence Directorate will be involved in ensuring the safety of the works.
“The three organs will work in close coordination and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (as the Taliban call themselves) is committed to making all necessary efforts for ensuring the project security of TAPI before the stakeholder countries,” he added.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline was conceived in 2015 at the initiative of Turkmenistan with the aim of bringing gas from its Galkynysh fields to India by 2019, a date that has been progressively delayed.
According to initial forecasts, the project would cost about $7.5 billion and will allow 33 billion cubic meters of gas to be pumped to the Indian border annually. EFE