TAPI can reconcile official kabul and the Taliban, Russian expert considers

TAPI can reconcile official kabul and the Taliban, Russian expert considers

Major economic projects, in particular, the construction of the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India (TAPI) gas pipeline, can switch the confrontation in the Afghan society along the line of the government in Kabul – the Taliban movement, into the plane of economic cooperation. The columnist of the International Life magazine Sergey Filatov writes about this in the publication “Afghanistan: Money will Solve everything?” on the Inforos website.

Analyzing the situation in Afghanistan, Mr. Filatov notes that the Afghan society is divided so that one part of the territory is led by the government in Kabul, headed by President Ghani, and the other part of the Afghan land is under the control of the opposing forces of the Taliban movement, and attempts to resolve the situation have been continuing for many years.

“In this regard, there are some hints that the events can be transferred from the state of hostility between two large camps of the Afghan population to some kind of cooperation, upon condition of appearing major economic projects on the territory of the country. First of all, we are talking about laying gas pipelines through Afghanistan from Central Asia, Turkmenistan, to the south – to Pakistan and India. One such – TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) is already being slowly laid, including with Russian-made pipes,” the expert writes.

He emphasizes that the funds, that Afghanistan will receive when this gas pipeline passes through its territory to the south, will multiply the income from the “business” of producing drugs – opium and heroin, which has flourished in Afghanistan.

In this regard, Mr.Filatov recalls that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar recently held talks in Moscow.

“Russian-Afghan interests coincide. Combining the resources of the two sides, we could effectively fight against the threats of drug trafficking,” Minister Atmar said in Moscow.

“So, we need to look for and offer not only a political, but also an economic alternative. In general, there is something to think about… Especially since “four countries” mediators seem ready to participate in ensuring the security of gas routes, and then the meaning of the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan will change its essence for almost the first time in centuries – from “invaders” to “defenders”? Why not?”, the expert writes in conclusion.

Initially, Turkmenistan, promoting the TAPI project, proceeded from the fact that the gas pipeline would promote not only the solution of economic, but also political problems of its southern neighbor.