The Turkmenistan to India pipeline may become a reality

Most of the news outlets are ignoring a development that over the long term will be vital for Pakistan and possibly India, and certainly for Afghanistan. This is the signing of the the $7.6 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. It will be 1640 km long and terminate in Fazilka on the Indian border. President Asif Ali Zardari will sign the agreement with Turkmenistan in Ashgabat representing Pakistan on the 11th.

The significance of this is that these countries are going ahead with agreements for the disposition of Turkmenistan gas even before the war is resolved in Afghanistan, through which the pipeline must past. Evidently everyone surmises that the conflict there will eventually be resolved and that the construction of a pipeline will be feasible without serious interruption, even in territories that are currently roiled by conflict.

These are large commitments in a project that cannot yet be commenced. Evidently these four countries are more sure that this conflict can be brought to a conclusion than most Americans.

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