ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) –  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif left for Turkmenistan on Friday to attend the ground breaking ceremony of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

During his stay, the prime minister will attend International Conference being held in Ashgabat to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s Permanent Neutrality. A number of heads of states and governments will attend the conference.

PM Nawaz willl also participate in the ground breaking ceremony of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project along with the President of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and Vice President of India.

The visit would highlight the importance that Pakistan attaches to the TAPI Gas Pipeline Project and the commitment to its early completion. Pakistan will be able to import 1325 mmcfd natural gas from Turkmenistan.

The TAPI project, which aims to connect Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India through a pipeline, will help Pakistan to overcome the shortage of gas and other power needs, said Parliamentary Secretary for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahzadi Umarzadi Tiwana.

In his bilateral interactions with the Turkmenistan President, the premier will share Pakistan’s perspective on important developments impinging on peace and security in the region and reiterate Pakistan’s keen desire to sustain and expand bilateral cooperation with Turkmenistan in trade, energy and defence.

During the visit, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also expected to hold a meeting with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

Observers consider the meeting a landmark development specially after the two countries agreed to begin a comprehensive dialogue during Indian foreign minister’s visit to Islamabad.