A two-member delegation from India, led by Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar, attended the ceremonies in Turkmenistan and Afghanistan on Friday for the launch of a pivotal trans-border gas pipeline. The $22.5-billion project will transport natural gas from the resource-rich Turkmenistan to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan, and seeks to promote regional integration and stability.

Mr. Akbar, along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was welcomed by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov for the first inaugural at Salem Chashma in TurkmenistanLater, all four leaders travelled to the western Afghan Province of Herat to commemorate the success of the project. “It’s a moment of great pride for Afghanistan,” Jalil Jami, an official from the office of the Mayor of Herat, told this writer.

The event organised by the local government involved welcoming the guests with a grandiose display of art and culture. Streets were lined with flags of the four nations, and artists and performers wowed the attendees with local dance and music. “Even the security situation was under control and well-managed,” Mr. Jami said.

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