Oil minister killed in plane crash
The Afghan Petroleum and Mines Minister, Juma Mohammad Mohammadi,
was killed in a plane crash outside the border of Pakistan today.
There were a total of 8 people on board the Cessna plane, among them
Mohammadi, his advisor and the director of a Chinese pipeline company.
All on board were believed to have been killed from the crash which took
place outside of Karachi in Pakistan
Six bodies had been found and five of them had been salvaged.
"I can confirm the unfortunate accident in which Mohammadi was killed",
a spokesman from the government in Kabul told AFP.
The plane took off from Karachi early in the morning heading for the
province Baluchistan in Pakistan. After mearly an hour the controll tower
lost the radar contact with the plane. The wreck was later found by
the Pakistani navy.
The weather was clear at the time of the accident, and there were
no reports on what may have caused the crash.
"This is a shock, very sad news", said the president of Afghanistan,
Hamid Karzai who was visiting Malaysia.
Mohammadi were in Pakistan to discuss the multi billion dollar project
involving an oil pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan through
Afghanistan. The delegation from Afghanistan also asked Pakistan
for help with oil-, gas- and mineral extraction in the war torn Afghanistan.
The fragile government in Afghanistan has lost three ministers during
the last year. In february last year the tourist minister, Abdul Rehman,
was murdered in the airport of Kabul. In july the vice president Abdul Qadi
was shot to death in his office.
Mohammadi was living in the USA before he took a seat in Hamid Karzai's
government and was earlier working at the World Bank.
Summit on trans-Afghan pipeline considers two routes, offers India to join project
"ISLAMABAD: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are considering two
separate routes for a proposed 3.5 billion dollar trans-Afghan gas pipeline
and they have officially contacted India for joining the project, officials said
after a meeting of ministers from the three countries.
The proposed pipeline, on the drawing board for some 20 years, would carry
gas from Turkmenistan's rich Dauletabad fields, home to the world's fifth largest
gas reserves, across Afghanistan to Pakistan and possibly India.
"There are two possibilities for us: to have the pipeline pass through the
southern route or to pass the pipeline through the northern route,"
Afghan Minister for Mines and Industries Juma Mohammad Mohammadi said.
The northern route runs through the Afghan capital Kabul on to the northwest
Pakistani city of Peshawar, while the southern route runs through the southern
Afghan city of Kandahar on to the south-west Pakistani city of Quetta.
Mohammadi, Turkmenistan's Deputy Prime Minister Yolly Qurbanmuradov and
Oil Minister Tagiev Tachberdi, and Pakistan's Petroleum and Natural Resources
Minister Naurez Shakoor led delegations at Saturday's talks to review a feasibility
study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The ADB, which believes the project has the potential to bring unprecedented
prosperity and stability to the impoverished region, has put up more than
a million dollars for a feasibility study.
Pakistan's Federal Secretary of Petroleum Abdullah Yousaf said the original
proposal only focussed on the southern route."