Trans Afghan railway Line to connect Uzbekistan with Pakistan

A joint agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan will be signed today (Tuesday) to link Pakistan Railways with the Uzbek rail network.

Through Termiz in Uzbekistan, Mazar-i-Sharif and Logar in Afghanistan, and concluding in Pakistan via the Kharlachi border crossing in Kurram, this connection will go.

This route was decided upon during a meeting of the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (UAP) railroads project’s trilateral working group on Monday in Islamabad. Since January of this year, the working group has held two meetings.

Following the meeting, the Ministry of Railways released a statement stating that the UAP railway project would improve people-to-people links throughout the entire region in addition to facilitating regional, transit, and bilateral trade among the participating countries.

According to the announcement, the line would support both passenger and freight services and will boost regional trade and the economy.

Syed Mazhar Ali Shah, chairman of Pakistan Railways, led the Pakistani delegation. Alhaj Bakhtulrehman Sharaft, director general of Afghanistan Railways Authority, led the Afghan delegation. Davron Dekhkanov, head of the transport division of the Ministry of Investment, Industry, and Trade, led the Uzbek delegation.

The three nations also decided on a schedule for carrying out technical studies, as well as other crucial elements for the project’s early implementation. The three railway networks’ experts did a professional job, as recognised by the countries, in reaching agreement on the final route and the specifics of its implementation.

According to Uzbekistan, the 760 kilometre railway should shorten goods delivery times between Uzbekistan and Pakistan by around five days. At the same time, there would be a minimum 40% decrease in the price of transporting goods. The project is anticipated to be finished by the end of 2027, and by 2030 trains may be able to transport up to 15 million tonnes of cargo annually.

A roadmap and strategic plan for building a new, 573-kilometer Trans-Afghan railway linking Central Asia with ports on the Arabian Sea have already been signed by the three nations. The agreement stipulates that a collaborative expedition will be organised to map the route’s topography and undertake a preliminary feasibility analysis for the project.

Pakistan anticipates that the completion of the route will increase economic opportunities with nations bordering the Arabian Sea and bring Central Asia closer to Pakistan’s 230 million people.

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