A supply project named Central Asia – South Asia 1,000 megawatt (Casa 1,000) started by Tajikistan may also connect the areas digitally, as they are also discussing a proposal to lay down a fiber optic cable along the power transmission line.
“Casa-1,000 power project has cleared the way for us to connect the regions through a cable network called Digital Casa-I, which will link Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.” – Deputy Energy Minister of Tajikistan, Jamshed Shoimzoda
The fiber optic cable currently in use uses a longer pathway to get to Pakistan since it goes to Europe from Russia before arriving at Pakistan.
The minister mentioned that Tajikistan has a lot of potential for power production because their energy sector had received a large amount of investment of around $2 billion, and that this in turn presents a great opportunity for Pakistan and Tajikistan to lay down the line.
He also said that he wants to work with Pakistan and Afghanistan and that Casa project is a good opportunity to help boost bilateral relations and connect the regions. He further added that “This project will give knowledge about Pakistan’s market, its legal and policy requirements as well as energy regulations.”
This project, if realized can address the energy needs of Pakistan as well as boost internet connectivity for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan via fiber optic link.
On the issue of security, the stakeholders stressed the need for a two-way programme which will cover security as well as the technical approach. Different routes are also being considered at this stage. Afghanistan is to receive a transmission fee for electricity transmission line that will pass from their territory, with the money being used for the betterment of the local communities.
While answering a question, the Tajik Deputy Energy Minister said that Afghanistan has given them guarantees for protection of the power transmission line and they are discussing different routes such as the Wakhan corridor with their technical teams.
The energy supply is expected to start in the middle of 2018.