The Islamic Emirate said it would soon resume the TAPI pipeline project, saying that the suspension of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) activities will not halt the project.
Earlier, a Pakistan news agency quoted a top Pakistani official of the Energy Ministry saying that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has paused all due diligence and processing activities of TAPI pending the official recognition of the Islamic Emirate by the United Nations and major global economies.
The Ministry of Finance denied the report, saying that the ADB was active in a consultative capacity, and that the project is mainly being supported by Turkmenistan.
“The project is mainly owned by Turkmenistan and the ADB was (or is still?) playing a role as a financial advisor,” said Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline is planned to span 1,680km and connect Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan with Pakistan and India.
Afghanistan will pay five percent of the project's expenses.
“This idea of the (ADB) is important for the implementation of the project but this project belongs to Turkmenistan,” said Abdul Rahman Habib, a spokesman for the Ministry of Economy.
Earlier the Islamic Emirate announced that it will resume the TAPI pipeline project in the coming spring.
Economists believe that political contests between India and Pakistan are the main reason for the suspension of the project.
“The government of the Taliban has yet to be recognized. This is a big problem, and, therefore, the ADB stopped funding the project. The Taliban government also doesn’t have the financial capacity to support the project,” said Meer Shikbi, an economist.