Trans-Afghan railway project office launched in Tashkent

By Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent May 15, 2023

A project office for coordinating the construction of the proposed Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan railway opened its doors on May 12 in Tashkent.

The office will coordinate the development of a feasibility study for the trans-Afghan railway line. 

The infrastructure would connect Central Asia, via Afghanistan, with the 230mn-strong market of Pakistan and "will bring the regions to a higher level of development," according to Pakistan's Ambassador to Uzbekistan Ahmed Farook.

The head of the Afghan Railway Administration, Bakht Rahman Sharafat, thanked the Uzbek side for its focus on developing his country's economy. He also highlighted the importance of a future highway for the transportation of goods between Russia, Central and South Asia.

The Trans-Afghan Highway initiative was launched in 2018. A construction start was planned for autumn 2021, but this was prevented by the change of power in Afghanistan and delicate security situation. The incoming provisional Taliban government, after negotiations, nevertheless joined the project. In January last year, it approved a route for the highway.

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