Kabul: Afghanistan will deploy about 7,000 troops to secure a major transnational gas pipeline slated to run through some of the most dangerous parts of the war-torn country.
The Daily Times quoted a minister, as saying on Sunday that the 1,700—kilometre-long Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan (TAPI) pipeline required that much security, as it would be transporting 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually from the Dauletabad gas fields in southeast Turkmenistan.
“This huge project is very important for Afghanistan. Five thousand to seven thousand security forces will be deployed to safeguard the pipeline route,” said Wahidullah Shahrani, Afghanistan’s Mines and Industries Minister, in Kabul.
He also said that Afghanistan stood to financially benefit tremendously in terms of transit fees.
His comments came a day after leaders of all four countries inked an agreement to operationalise the ambitious venture at a summit meeting in Turkmen capital Ashgabat.
The dream project was first thought of in 1995, and had been on hold for 15 years due to the presence of the Taliban in Afghanistan.