The Taliban government, on Monday, January 10, announced their plan to deploy a contingent of the Islamist fighters from a special unit to continue working on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project, which was suspended last year due to uncertainty and insecurity following the imminent attack collapse of Kabul.
“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, adding that they already have the draft of this plan.
According to the project draft, the gas pipeline will link up to Afghanistan through the western province of Herat, towards the border of the country with her neighbor Turkmenistan, running across the country to Pakistan, through the southern Kandahar province.
The spokesperson also added that the project would be the first under the current Taliban regime to receive a massive troop deployment to ensure security and safety. Not to mention, the project will involve multi-ministerial cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, the Interior Ministry, and the Intelligence Directorate involved.
The TAPI Gas Project is an initiative that Turkmenistan conceived in 2015 to transport natural gas from its Galkynysh gas fields to India by 2019. However, the date has been delayed multiple times. The project estimated to cost about $7.5 billion is anticipated to allow pumping about 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to India.