Ashgabat, 8 November 2017 (nCa) — At the end of the panel discussion nCa talked with some panelists and other experts on the possibility of any security threats to TAPI in the territory of Afghanistan.
Clearly, no one is overly worried of any serious opposition to TAPI from any side.
One line of argument is that currently Afghanistan is receiving electricity from Turkmenistan and Iran and there is electricity flow connection between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. There is no systematic opposition to these energy links and there have not been any serious attacks on the infrastructure.
The argument here is that if one form of energy is flowing uninterruptedly from the supplying countries to Afghanistan, there is no reason to believe that another form of energy – natural gas in this instance – will attract sufficiently strong opposition to make it unviable.
A strand of this argument is that Taliban are the only genuine force in a position to disrupt TAPI or for that matter, anything else, but they have repeatedly declared their support for TAPI.
Another line of argument is that the nature and extent of any threat to TAPI may, to some extent, depend on which companies and countries would be involved in the construction and management of TAPI —– i.e. which foreign or local entities or people would benefit from TAPI and what kind of resentment they may attract, if any.
Related to this argument is the fact that the support from the communities and people along the route of TAPI would be directly proportional to the benefit they gain from this pipeline. The planners are mindful of this fact and they are working on the ways to make sure that the people along the TAPI route receive substantial benefits on long-term basis.
Some experts pointed out that the work is on for the creation of a global system and mechanisms for the safe transit of energy resources, under the initiative of Turkmenistan and fully backed by the world community. They were of the view that the working group under the auspices of the United Nations had made some headway and by the time TAPI gets ready for commissioning, some kind of binding mechanism could be in place.
Some experts said that if ISIS gains tractions along the TAPI route, it may pose a potential threat. However, they were quick to acknowledge that ISIS is not a natural phenomenon in Afghanistan and it is being created artificially.
CONCLUDED. /// nCa