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ISSUE: INTERNATIONAL RELATION

ISSUE: INTERNATIONAL RELATION
TOPIC: TAPI & IPI PIPELINES

Central Asia has always been a region of great significance. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, importance of this region has substantially increased since it constitutes a part of the modern "Silk Road" and also neighbours the 21st Century power centres- Russia, India and China. More so, when America is sitting in neighbouring Afghan
istan and by way of that presence, is trying to extend its foothold in the region. In order to extend its sphere of influence to the region, the US is actively endorsing the Trans-Afghan gas Pipeline; better know as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline, proposed by the Asian Development Bank.

Largely seen as a Western-backed rival to the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Pipeline, the TAPI, with a length of 1680-km, will source the gas from Dauletabad gas field in Turkmenistan, completing its run at the Indian border town of Fazilka. This $7.6 billion project is likely to contribute immensely to the energy security of deficient downstream nations, provided it overcomes the challenges posed by huge investment costs and disturbed volatile areas en route.

For war-ravaged Afghanistan, this pipeline is expected to be a critical source of employment and revenue spinner, apart from contributing to the country's energy security and thus boosting Afghan development. Apart from providing a clean source of energy to the growing economies of India and Pakistan, the TAPI can be a possible peace catalyst between India and Pakistan. Moreover, it has the potential to kick-start a new era of inter-regional cooperation between Central Asia and South Asia.



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