Modi brushes aside protocol for Kazakh visit

July 01, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:50 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Turkmenistan ambassador Parakhat H. Durdyev on Monday ruled out delays to the 1,078-mile Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline from security concerns and said all the beneficiary countries are on the same page pushing for early implementation of the project. “There should be no excuses…Afghanistan is getting more and more involved, Pakistan has no reasons to create problems,” the ambassador said.

Continued violence in Afghanistan has been considered a reason for the delay in the execution of works related to the pipeline with a capacity to carry 90 million metric standard cubic metres of gas, of which India and Pakistan will get 38 mmscmd of gas, while the remaining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan.

India and Ashgabat are also expected to ink deals on the setting up of a fertilizer factory in Turkmenistan, on urea and potash supply and transport and energy sectors.

The PM’s visit to Kazakhstan is expected to give a fillip to the civil nuclear deal signed in 2009, to the proposed joint mining of uranium in Kazakhstan and to the Caspian Sea oil block drilling agreement, that India has 25 per cent stake in. India and Kazakhstan could also be finalising agreements on mining, mineral and oil and gas projects, which include iron ore, coal and potash exploration.

Mr. Modi is also learnt to have brushed aside protocol for his visit to Kazakhstan. India’s last visit to the country was in 2011, and as per protocol it was Kazakhstan’s turn to visit New Delhi. In 1992, India was the first country outside Commonwealth of Independent States region visited by President Nazarbayev after Kazakhstan became independent.

Tajikistan, where India has an air base, is looking to firm up ties with New Delhi on security, trade and investment during the PM’s visit.

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