Local officials in the southern province of Helmand have assured government the provincial administration will use all necessary resources to ensure the security of the TAPI gas pipeline project, which is expected to pass through the province.
Last week a ground breaking ceremony was held in Turkmenistan to launch the $10 billion USD project. Among officials present were the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and India.
Many people believe the multi-billion dollar project can strengthen economic and commercial ties across the region.
Economic commentators believe the project is a milestone in regional cooperation and a step forward in reviving Afghanistan's economic legacy in the region.
The TAPI project aims to transfer natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and onward to India via Afghanistan.
At a gathering on Saturday marking the signing of the key economic project, local officials, Helmand provincial council members and a number of youths warmly welcomed the implementation of the project and promised to ensure that efforts are made by the people in the province to secure the pipeline.
Helmand governor Mirza Khan Rahimi assured the central government of taking necessary measures for security of the project.
"On behalf of the people of Helmand, I would like to say that we are completely prepared to implement the project and we demand the president cooperate with us regarding employment of Helmand youths," Rahimi said.
"TAPI will have a major impact on our economic and security spheres, we want to request Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan not to allow [elements]to sabotage the project," deputy head of Helmand provincial council Majid Akhundzada said.
While the Afghan youths still attempt to reach European shores in their quest for a better life, youths in Helmand have called on the central government to create jobs for them through TAPI.
Helmand, once a Taliban stronghold in the south, still faces volatile security situations as hard-pressed Afghan security forces continue their military campaign against the group in Grishk, Sangeen, Ashir and Marjah districts in a bid to curb their advances in the province bordering Pakistan.
Comment this post