Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan are working on a railway line that will connect the two South Asian countries with Central Asia.
Uzbekistan has pledged to start work early next year on the railway line that will connect its capital Tashkent with Afghanistan and Pakistan, Afghanistan News quoted the Taliban as saying.
The Afghan Ministry of Finance said acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, met with Uzbekistan’s minister for transport, Makhkamov Ilkhom on the sidelines of the just-concluded OIC summit in Islamabad. Tashkent promised to train some Afghan personnel for technical work on the railway.
The length of the railway line between Kabul and Peshawar is estimated to be around 573 km. The construction will cost $4.8 billion.
“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 finalised. A delegation will soon visit Uzbekistan to discuss the technical issues,” said Ahmad Wail Haqmal, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
“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.
Economists in Afghanistan say the rail link between Central Asia and South Asia via Afghanistan would benefit the country. “This is very important and valuable for economic progress and the facilitation of imports and exports,” said Abdul Naseer Rishtia, an economist.