“$10 billion TAPI Gas Pipeline project fails to achieve financial closure.” published in The News International on June 22,2020. The contents of the story are strongly denied

This is with reference to the news story, “$10 billion TAPI Gas Pipeline project fails to achieve financial closure.” published in The News International on June 22,2020. The contents of the story are strongly denied in unqualified terms. The story has presented an inaccurate representation of facts that has cast the TAPI project and progress on the same in a deliberately adverse manner. Some factual points which have been misinterpreted in the story need to be stated afresh for clarity and comprehension.

It must be recalled that the TAPI Price Negotiation Committee has already held its first meeting on 18th June, 2020 under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Petroleum. The constitution of this committee has also been approved the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet which had in an earlier decision proposed constitution of a new PNC. Secondly, all aspects of the project including price and delivery points are lined up next for review and discussion with relevant counterparts. Thirdly, 200 kilometers of the pipeline have already been laid.  Fourthly, financial closure of Phase 1 is expected in 2021. Lastly, Phase 1 COD is expected to be completed in 2023.

It is, therefore, irresponsible to say that the project has been derailed. Impressive progress has been witnessed in the growth of the project. It has been gaining further momentum in spite the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government of Pakistan is committed to the TAPI Gas Pipeline project and has continued to emphasize its importance to diversifying Pakistan’s Energy Mix and acting as a catalyst in improving regional connectivity and fostering better neighbourly relations and best endeavours are being made to meet the timelines of the project are being met and a number of video conferences, telephone calls and correspondence continue to take place during travel restrictions due to the Pandemic.

It is expected that whilst reporting on such a sensitive and strategic subject which involves other nations and is intertwined with Pakistan’s socio economic, interstate relations, irresponsible reporting is avoided and sound reporting and editorial judgment is practiced.