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Lawmakers for robust security for TAPI

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AT News Report-KABUL: Some lawmakers are concerned of the security of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline, asking the government to pay serious attention to the landmark project that links four regional countries through transiting Turkmenistan’s gas to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan.

The long awaited project has caused large optimism among Afghans who think it would create job opportunities and would have other profits for the war-torn country.

Part of the 1,814 kilometer long pipeline passes through the provinces of Herat, Farah, Nimroz, Helmand and Kandahar, from which only Herat is relatively safe.

“I am worried about the security of the project. People should take part in its security,” said Nasima Neyazi, a lawmaker from Helmand province. “This is our dream that the TAPI is implemented successfully. People are helping the government to ensure security.”

Delaram district in Nimroz, Washer and Nahr-e-Seraj in Helmand, Maiwand, Zherai, Arghandab, Daman and Spin Boldak in Kandahar are the most volatile areas that the pipeline passes through.

Taliban for the first time announced to cooperate in the security of the TAPI as a national project, but the lawmakers are doubtful, saying the group had destroyed several national projects.

Security experts say the government should use experienced persons in the security of the project. “The government is the immediate responsible of the TAPI security. If it employs competent and patriotic people in this regard, there would be no worries for the people,” said Faqir Mohammad Faqir, former interior minister.

The interior ministry assures of the project’s security in all of the insecure areas.

The TAPI project would create job opportunities for over 30,000 people and Afghanistan would gain 500 million dollars annually for the transition.