ISLAMABAD   -  The Petroleum Division of Ministry of Energy was aggressively pursuing the international gas pipeline projects to meet the energy needs of the country.

The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project and North South Gas Pipeline Project were clear illustrations of such efforts of the Ministry of Energy, said a press release issued here Sunday.

The TAPI Project has achieved substantial progress during the current year. The Heads of Terms of the Host Government Agreement have been signed with the TAPI Project Company in order to enable the company to start construction work in Pakistan.

The ground breaking ceremony for Pakistan segment of the Project is also being planned, which is expected to be held shortly.

The TAPI Project Company (TPCL) has established its project office in Dubai and also opened a branch office in Islamabad.

To fund the project activities, the Government of Pakistan is regularly contributing its committed share in the Project.

The TPCL is being managed by Turkmenistan as majority shareholder and consortium leader in the project. The assertion appeared in a section of press that Pakistan is being represented in the project company through a foreigner or any financial embezzlement is being committed is absolutely wrong, baseless and concocted.

The Project is professionally managed by Turkmenistan in accordance with the terms of the agreements between the four countries.

Moreover, none from India, Afghanistan or Pakistan is representing their respective companies/countries in the company except through the Board of Directors of the company, where the three countries have equal representation.

Pakistan being one of the shareholders has its representation on the Board of Directors of the Company through Managing Director-Inter State Gas Systems (Pvt) Ltd.

The Petroleum Division of the Ministry of Energy is meticulously monitoring the progress of the project and has full confidence and faith, the way these international pipeline projects are being managed by ISGS.

There is absolutely no truth in the aspersion that MD-ISGS is fleeing the country nor has he ever travelled without the approval of the competent authority.

The ministry officials too have traveled abroad with the approval of the competent authority to monitor and supervise the project related activities.

The Ministry categorically denied any financial embezzlement or corruption being committed in the company or visit of any high official of the Ministry abroad without authorisation.

Such baseless and negative news reporting, if continued, would badly tarnish the country’s image and severely damage the international projects of strategic importance being handled by the Ministry and are therefore required to be stopped.