By Amit Shankar
Mary (Turkmenistan), Dec. 13 (ANI): Thanking Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for their active involvement in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, Vice President M. Hamid Ansari on Sunday said their commitment augured well for the entire region.
“I wish to thank President Ghani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for their active involvement. Your strong support for TAPI reflects your interest in securing the economic future of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively. Your personal commitment to the success of our common venture augurs well for the entire region and for the people of all our countries,” he said while speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the TAPI gas pipeline project in Mary.
Recalling his visit to Turkmenistan in 2008 and his discussions on India’s participation in the gas pipeline project with Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, the Vice President thanked the latter for his untiring leadership.
“I thank you for your untiring leadership and the strength of your commitment towards TAPI. It is largely due to your efforts that we are now in a position to commence implementation of this project. I am confident that we can rely on your continued support in the days ahead. Your role has been and will be central to the success of TAPI,” he said.
Vice President Ansari also lauded the contribution of India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan.
“I would also like to place on record my appreciation for our Ministers and officials who have worked hard to move the project forward. India’s young and dynamic Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, who is with us today, represents a new generation of India’s political leadership that is working hard to build a prosperous future for the country,” he said.
He further assured the member countries of the TAPI project of India’s constructive and cooperative approach towards addressing issues related to the project.
“We are confident that all issues can be addressed through a spirit of mutual accommodation and sharing of costs and benefits,” he said.
“We cannot limit our aspirations by the narrow views of a few misguided elements or afford to live in the shadow of global power equations. We must seize opportunities as they arise and lay the foundations of shared progress,” he added.
India’s association with the TAPI project goes back almost a decade. It began as an Observer country at the 9th Steering Committee Meeting in 2006. In April 2008, India was formally admitted as a member of the Project. Since then, India has been actively participating in all the meetings and has been an active votary of the project.
Recently, during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Turkmenistan in July 2015, both India and Turkmenistan had reaffirmed strong commitment towards timely implementation of this strategic project for the common benefit of people of the four countries. (ANI)