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Turkmenistan: Study Backs Trans-Afghan Pipeline

17 January 2005 -- Turkmenistan said today that a feasibility study supports a proposal to build a natural-gas pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan to an Indian border town.

Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry said the study commissioned by the Asian Development Bank envisages it would cost $3.3 billion to build the 1,000-kilometer pipeline to transport Turkmenistan's gas to India.

The ministry said participants in the proposed project will discuss the feasibility study at a meeting in Islamabad in early February.

Critics have cast doubt on the project because of instability in Afghanistan and ongoing tensions between Pakistan and India.