Pak to skip U.S. brokered TAPI pipeline talks in India over LoC tensions

Islamabad, Aug. 23 (ANI): Pakistan has refused to participate in talks with India on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, following the increased tensions between the two nations over ceasefire violations in border areas of Kashmir.

The Express Tribune reports that the TAPI pipeline dialogue has been postponed after Pakistan refused to attend the meeting in India on August 22.

An internal source revealed that a representative of the U.S. State Department and Chevron officials were visiting India to discuss issues pertaining to the pipeline and had requested Pakistan to join them.

However, Islamabad refused to participate in the talks amid boiling tensions with New Delhi over Line of Control (LoC) killings.

The United States had been putting pressure on Pakistan to go ahead with the crucial transnational gas pipeline and shelve the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project because of a standoff with Tehran over its alleged nuclear programme, the report added.

The U.S. firm Chevron has long shown interest in financing the pipeline, which will pass through Afghanistan, and developing gas fields in Turkmenistan.

The participating countries have agreed to hire the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as transaction adviser to raise funds for the project to meet the escalating cost because of the delay, estimated to exceed 10 billion dollars.

According to the report, Pakistan and India will receive 1.365 billion cubic feet of gas per day (bcfd) from Turkmenistan, while Afghanistan will get 0.5 bcfd.

Turkmenistan will supply gas through a 1,800 km pipeline that will reach India after passing through Afghanistan and Pakistan, the report added. (ANI)


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