Kabul, Tashkent to conduct survey of trans-Afghan railway project

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Afghanistan and Uzbekistan are set to conduct a survey of the trans-Afghan railway project, the Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) said.

The head of the ARA, Bakht Rahman Sharafat, said that the Islamic Emirate is committed to ensuring the security of the trans-Afghan project.

“Yesterday evening, we received an email. The email said they are ready to start the trans-Afghan project,” he said.

The Trans-Afghan railway project will connect South and Central Asia via Afghanistan.

First Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar met with the National Security Advisor of Uzbekistan, Abdul Aziz Kamilov, and discussed the fate of the railway project.

The Ministry of Economy said that the Islamic Emirate is ready to implement this project.

“The policy of the Islamic Emirate is to make Afghanistan the center of regional cooperation. The government is fully prepared to implement the trans-Afghan project,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy Minister of Economy.

“If Uzbekistan and Afghanistan reach an agreement over the railway which connects South Asia with Central Asia, this will benefit Afghanistan’s economy,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman, head of Afghanistan’s Chamber of Industry and Mines.

Based on the plan made by the ARA, the trans-Afghan railway will cross through Mazar-e-Sharif, Samangan, Pul-e-Khumri, Kabul, Logar and Jalalabad and will extend to Pakistan.

Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a virtual meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce of Uzbekistan, discussed the “finalization of the railway plan” between the two countries.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi tweeted that both sides called for the development of trade, transit and the Mazar-Kabul-Peshawar railway during the meeting.

Bakht-ur-Rahman Sharafat, head of the Afghanistan Railway department, said progress has been made in the construction of the Trans-Afghan railway and its survey will start within the month.

“The technical teams of the survey are expected to start their work this month, now all departments are discussing this issue,” said Bakht-ur-Rahman Sharafat, head of the railway department.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that connecting Central Asia with South Asia through Afghanistan will have a positive impact on the growth of Afghanistan’s trade relations.

“Having a railway to all three countries plays a very important role in their export and import trade, and we welcome this,” said Khairuddin Mayel, deputy of ACCI.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Economy said that with the launch of the Trans-Afghan Railway, job opportunities will be created for the citizens of the country in several provinces.

“The Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Pakistan railway can make Afghanistan a regional hub and play an important role in creating jobs and reducing poverty in Afghanistan,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy minister of economy.—Tolonews

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