Ink map of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan for rail link

Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan on Tuesday signed a roadmap for a historic rail link aimed at boosting trade ties between Central Asia and South Asia.

The signing ceremony of the multi-billion dollar project took place in Tashkent, attended by senior officials from the three countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Uzbek 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 pursuing this historic project.

Last month, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said his country’s seaports provide Central Asian states with an excellent opportunity to access the Indian Ocean.

The proposed 573 km railway is expected to link Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, via the Afghan capital Kabul, to the city of Peshawar in northern Pakistan. The three countries signed a joint application last month seeking a $4.8 billion loan from international financial institutions for the Trans-Afghan Railway project.

Last month, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan inaugurated three major energy and connectivity projects aimed at strengthening bilateral and regional ties. The three projects included an electricity transmission project, a fiber optic line for high-speed Internet, and a railway line between the two neighbors.

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