Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan on Tuesday inked a roadmap for a landmark rail link aimed at bolstering trade ties between Central and South Asia.
The signing ceremony for the multi-billion-dollar project took place in Tashkent, and attended by senior officials from the three countries.
Speaking on the occasion, Uzbekistan’s deputy prime minister Sardor Umurzakov said peace and stability in Afghanistan will lead to development, economic growth and increased regional cooperation.
Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar thanked the host country for playing its leading role in the pursuit of the landmark project.
Last month, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said his country’s seaports provided a great opportunity to Central Asian states for access to the Indian Ocean.
The proposed 573 km railway track is set to connect Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent via Afghan capital Kabul with Pakistan’s northern city of Peshawar. The three countries signed a joint request last month seeking a $4.8 billion loan from international financial institutions for the Trans-Afghan railway project.
The two sides agreed to pursue Trans-Afghan railway line project “Mazar-e-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar.”
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) December 29, 2020
Last month, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan inaugurated three major energy and connectivity projects aimed at strengthening bilateral and regional ties. The three projects included a power transmission project, a fiber optic line for high speed internet, and a railway line between the two neighbors.
PM Imran signed railway project with Uzbekistan & Afghanistan
Pakistan signed a joint appeal letter Tuesday seeking a $4.8 billion loan from international financial institutions for a Trans-Afghan railway line project with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
The rail link would connect Pakistan and Uzbekistan via Afghanistan and later the Central Asian countries.
Prime Minister Imran Khan signed the letter on behalf of Pakistan for the mega project, according to Abdul Razak Dawood, adviser to the prime minister on commerce and investment.
The signing ceremony, held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad, was also attended by Uzbekistan’s Minister for Transport Makhkamov Ilkham. The joint appeal had already been signed by the presidents of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk