The Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar has said the railway project, which will connect Mazar-e-Sharif to Peshawar via Kabul, is vital for Afghanistan as the project will further boost the economic growth of Afghanistan.
“The joint project between Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan is a turning point in the expansion of relations, trade, transit, and regional cooperation, and the three countries’ common dream was to connect Central Asia with South Asia,” Atmar said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.
The Foreign Minister termed the project as a milestone in trade, transit, and regional cooperation between the three countries saying the joint project between Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan will bolster and further enhance the regional connectivity and trade ties.
“Trade and transit become a common ground for growth and fulfill the common aspiration of “connecting Central and South Asia through Afghanistan, ” Atmar said.
The railway project was signed between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan in Tashkent yesterday in the presence of the US ambassador and a number of representatives of international organizations.
The proposed 573 km railway track is set to connect Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent via Afghanistan’s capital Kabul with Pakistan’s northern city of Peshawar. The three countries signed a joint request 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 relations. The projects included a power transmission project, a fiber optic line for high-speed internet, and a railway line between the two neighbors.
This is pertinent to mention that Afghanistan opened the Herat-Khaf railway with Iran and the Aqina-Andkhoy railway with Turkmenistan in the near past.