ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Islamabad voted to give the green light to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline, a minister announced.
Pakistani Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said it was vital for Pakistan to approve the multilateral pipeline from Turkmenistan to stave off an energy crisis in the country, Pakistan's Daily Times newspaper reports.
The 1,043-mile natural gas pipeline would transport natural gas from the Dauletabad field in Turkmenistan, one of the world's largest. The Western-backed project is viewed as a rival to Iran's plans to transit natural gas from its South Pars gas field to Pakistan and India through the so-called Peace Pipeline.
New Delhi said it was concerned about the security of the TAPI project through parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The project, however, received support from Kabul and Islamabad, as well as the Asian Development Bank.
Kaira said if India balked on the project the other three members would move ahead without the other partner.
Gazprom, according to Russian energy czar and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, is interested in joining TAPI as well.