Pakistan focused to benefit from TAPI despite India’s lack of interest: PM

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ISLAMABAD, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has said that despite India’s lack of interest, Pakistan is focused to reap the benefits from the long-pending four-nation energy corridor, TAPI.

About the multibillion-dollar project involving Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (TAPI), the prime minister said the corridor could prove as a source of cheap and sustainable supply of energy for the region.

“On TAPI, there is a lot of enthusiasm from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. But if India chooses to remain out of the benefit of this whole arrangement, they still can do it,” Kakar said in an interview with Turkiye’s Anadolu news agency.

Kakar said, “With or without India, the Turkmen gas can be exploited for the economic benefit of this region, and we are very much focused on achieving that target.”

The $7 billion project aims to bring natural gas from the Gylkynish and adjacent gas fields in Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, the Anadolu reported.

The Asian Development Bank is facilitating and coordinating the project, which is proposed to lay a 56-inch diameter 1,680-kilometer (1,044-mile) pipeline with a design capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Indo-Pak border.

On relations with Turkiye, the prime minister called for enhanced coordination and cooperation, calling the bilateral relations “fabulous.”

He emphasized improvement in areas including trade, agriculture, and defence between Pakistan and Turkiye.

Also, he said, developing connectivity corridors among Turkiye, Pakistan, and Iran could offer many opportunities to these nations and the whole region.

Regarding the situation in Gaza, the prime minister warned of a “spillover effect” of the catastrophe, which he said could extend beyond the region.

Kakar called for an “immediate” cessation of the hostilities and incessant attacks of Israel and stressed the need for establishing a humanitarian corridor for an uninterrupted supply of food, medicines, and other essential items.

He said Islamabad was looking forward to attending a forthcoming special session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, adding that the body should deliberate upon the situation, and come up with a “collective response.”

On Pakistan’s move to deport illegal foreigners, Kakar said the decision was meant to have a regulated movement across the borders.

He mentioned that illegal immigration was never encouraged by any country in the world and Pakistan’s step was in the same context.

About relations with India, he said the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was vital for the normalization of ties between the two neighbours.

“Kashmir is an outstanding issue between India and Pakistan. Pakistan’s traditional position is that it should be resolved in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions,” he said.

“They (Kashmiris) have got every right to determine their future, their destiny … and Pakistan would always stand, diplomatically and politically, to support that stance,” he said.