Uzbekistan Afghanistan and Pakistan agree to build UAP Railway

A collaborative protocol establishing the desire of the governments of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to construct the 760 km UAP Railway linking the three nations has been signed.

The 760 km route would connect Termiz, Uzbekistan, with Kharlachi, Pakistan’s Kurram province, via Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif and Logar.

On July 17, the trilateral UAP Railway working group met in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad and decided on the route. The working group had met twice since January, the most recent being this one.

Syed Mazhar Ali Shah, the chairman of Pakistan Railways (PR), led the delegation from Pakistan to the working group. Alhaj Bakhtulrehman Sharaft, the director general of the Afghanistan Railways Authority, served as the delegation’s leader, and Mr. Davron Dekhkanov, the head of the transport division at the Ministry of Investment, Industry, and Trade, represented Uzbekistan.

In order to ensure the early implementation of the UAP Railway project, the three countries have also agreed to perform technical studies, look into prospective finance sources, and carry out other crucial duties.

By 2030, the new railway might be hauling up to 15 million tonnes of freight annually if it is finished by the end of 2027.

According to Uzbekistan, the new railway will lower transportation costs by at least 40% and shorten transit times for goods traveling to Pakistan by about five days.

The three nations came to an agreement in February 2021 on a strategic plan to construct a new 573-kilometer railway across Afghanistan to link ports on the Arabian Sea. The railway is expected to cost $US 4.8 billion and will run from the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, through Kabul to Peshawar in Pakistan.

The agreement calls for carrying out a collaborative route reconnaissance and an initial feasibility study.

Pakistan aspires for the project’s completion to increase trade with nations bordering the Arabian Sea and bring Central Asia closer to its 230 million residents.

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