ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that he was glad the Operations Agreement relating to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline had been signed with a resolve to complete the project by 2017, adding that the pipeline was part of Pakistan’s energy security plan.
In a meeting with the Vice-Premier of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and Nawaz at the PM House on Thursday, the premier said Pakistan wants a strong economic partnership with Turkmenistan.
“The focus of our foreign policy is on peace for development, and the main thrust of our engagement with Central Asia is on trade, investment, energy, connectivity and culture,” Nawaz said.
The premier said completion of the TAPI gas pipeline project was of high priority, adding that it envisages the transportation of 30 billion cubic meters of gas to Pakistan via Afghanistan.
“We are glad that the Operations Agreement has been signed and all parties have showed their resolve to complete the project by the target date (ie 2007),” the premier said, adding that the project is part of the energy security plan of Pakistan’s government.
Pakistan also hopes to import nearly 1,000 MW of Turkmen electricity.
Both sides expressed hope to finalise arrangements as soon as possible.
Nawaz said he hoped to visit Turkmenistan later in 2014.
Advisor the Prime Minister on National Security Sartaj Aziz, Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar and Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also attended the meeting.
Meredov separately met with Dar and held delegation level talks with Aziz, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi and foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry at the Foreign Office.