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The National Bank of Pakistan’s branch in Turkmenistan is to close in the near future, turkmen.news has learnt from informed sources in Ashgabat. The branch was opened in 1997 to give an impetus to construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and to strengthen economic and trade links between the two countries.
One source working in the economic sector told turkmen.news that the bank had taken the decision to close its branch independently without any pressure whatsoever from the Turkmen authorities.
“Considering that the TAPI gas pipeline has not been delivered after all, the bank decided on the closure,” the source said. “Evidently the Pakistani side has given up on the project.”
On November 9, turkmen.news wrote to the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) branch in Ashgabat asking them to confirm or deny the information, but received no reply. On November 11, turkmen.news rang the bank.
“[The head of the bank branch, Sarfraz Ahmad] asked me to say that we will make an official announcement that will clarify everything,” the person taking the call said.
Asked in a follow-up question if the bank might indeed be closed down, our interlocutor replied, “If we make an official announcement, you will know then.” The source did not say when the announcement would be made.
The website of the NBP branch in Turkmenistan says that it provides the full range of banking services to private and corporate clients: opening bank accounts in manats and hard currency, cash transactions, loans, and so on.
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