Freight trains to Afghanistan resume via Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif



Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) said that 50 wagons of commercial goods arrived at Haritaran port on Friday.

According to the spokesperson of ARA, Uzbek officials have agreed to hand over the management of the railway line of Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif to Afghanistan, during talks with the Afghan delegation in Uzbekistan. “A technical committee consisting of two parties has been established to prepare a draft of a contract or memorandum of understanding,” Sami Durrani said. Members of the private sector welcomed the resumption of transportation of commercial goods through the Haritaran-Mazar-e-Sharif railway line and asked the officials of ARA to make more efforts to keep the railways with neighboring countries operational.

“Using the railway can boost trade and business, and it is much cheaper than road transportation,” said Abdul Nasir Rashtiya, a member of the private sector. Economic experts emphasize that suspending the operation of railways can have negative effects on the country’s economy.

“Railway has an extremely positive impact on the Afghan oil market. On the one hand, Russia will find a market, and the needs of Afghanistan will be met. In addition, we can set the prices at a very low level so that every Afghan can make good use of the reasonable price,” said Taj Mohammad Talash, an expert on economic affairs.

The Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif railway line is 75 km long and was built in 2010. According to ARA, the management of technical affairs of the line should have been handed over by Uzbekistan to a Kazakh company by the end of January.

ARA’s head Bakht-ur-Rahman Sharaft, in an interview with Ariana News last week, accused Uzbekistan of violating their agreement and suggested that the main point of dispute between the sides is the number of Uzbek personnel to remain in the management of the railway.—Tolonews