Rising Security Risk for TAPI Pipeline in Afghanistan's Helmand Province
Increasing security risk in Greshk district of southern Helmand province in Afghanistan has raised deep concerns about the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, according to local officials.
Members of Helmand provincial council have meanwhile said that the volatile situation in the province could pose a major threat to the implementation of TAPI, reported Kabul based TOLONews on Sunday.
Reacting to concerns by provincial authorities, the Afghan security institutions have reiterated their commitment to tackle threats around TAPI by mapping out comprehensive security measures.
"The situation in the district is critical as we await the implementation of the project. The government gets weaker in the area day to day, therefore a resolution must be found, otherwise I fear that TAPI cannot be implemented in Greshk," TOLONews quoted head of Helmand's provincial council Karim Atal as saying.
Helmand police chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang, however, assured that the security forces are committed to thwarting plots by those intending to sabotage TAPI.
Last month, Daud Shah Saba, Afghan Minister of Mines and Petroleum, told Upper House in Kabul that a 7,000-member security force will be raised to guard the gas pipeline project.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani talked about the importance of TAPI gas pipeline project to a gathering of tribal elders in December. He said that the pipeline project is of enormous economic importance and would change Afghanistan into an economic hub in the region.
The much delayed project was formally inaugurated on December 13.