• publish: 21 December 2021
  • time: 3:01 pm
  • category: Economy
  • No: 20289

Construction of trans-Afghan railway from Uzbekistan to Pakistan expected to start in spring next year

The Taliban interim government says Uzbekistan has pledged to start work on the railway that connects Tashkent to Afghanistan and Islamabad in the spring.

The Ministry of Finance said that the acting Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, met with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Transport, Ilkhom Makhkamov, in Islamabad on the sidelines of the OIC summit.

Tashkent reportedly promised to train some Afghan personnel for technical work on the railway.

The length of the railway between Kabul and Peshawar is estimated to be around 573 km. The construction will cost $4.8 billion, according to TOLONews

“This is a big project.  Every country has its role in it.  Every country will allocate funds for its construction. The technical affairs have yet to be finalized.  A delegation will soon visit Uzbekistan to discuss the technical issues,” Ahmad Wail Haqmal, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, was quoted as saying by TOLONews

“It was pledged that the project will begin in the spring of the coming year,” said Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate. 

“They (relevant countries) are seeking to connect Central Asia to South Asia via the railway crossing Afghanistan,” said Bakht Rahman Sharafat, Deputy Minister of Public Works within the Talibam Interim Government. 

Recall, Afghan, Pakistani, and Uzbek officials in early February this year, held their first trilateral meeting on the construction of a trans-Afghan railroad.  The sides signed a roadmap on the construction of the Mazar-e Sharif – Kabul — Peshawar railroad that aims to connect Uzbekistan with Pakistani ports via Afghanistan. 

Tashkent’s interest in Pakistani ports led Uzbekistan’s most senior leadership to open new lines of communication.  Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan held their first bilateral meeting on April 14, 20121 focusing discussion on the trans-Afghan railroad project.  Prior to this engagement, Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov paid a visit to Pakistan on March 10.  Negotiations with the Taliban movement and the Afghan government are active as well.  Kamilov met with a Taliban representative in Qatar on April 10.  In February, Kamilov held meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar.

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