Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan Collaborate on Joint Railway
The recent joint protocol finalized by Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan for a significant railway project marks a historic milestone in regional connectivity and trade facilitation. This railway project aims to connect Uzbekistan’s train network with Pakistan Railways (PR), bringing immense opportunities for economic development and fostering closer ties between the three nations. The proposed route will traverse Termiz in Uzbekistan, Mazar-e-Sharif and Logar in Afghanistan, and enter Pakistan through the Kharlachi border crossing in Kurram.
Enhancing Regional Connectivity and Trade
The signing ceremony, attended by esteemed officials including Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, highlights the project’s significance. It is expected to enhance regional, transit, and bilateral trade, strengthening connections among the people of the region. The railway line’s dual-purpose nature, catering to both passenger and freight services, is poised to play a vital role in boosting regional trade and driving economic growth.
Roadmap for Implementation
The finalization of the railway project’s route followed a productive meeting of the trilateral working group in Islamabad. During the meeting, representatives from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan agreed on a comprehensive roadmap for technical studies, financing sources, and other essential aspects to expedite project implementation. This collaborative effort sets the stage for efficient coordination and successful realization of the railway project.
Benefits of the Railway Project
Anticipated to be completed by the end of 2027, the 760-kilometer rail line holds great promise in reducing cargo delivery times between Uzbekistan and Pakistan. It is projected to cut transportation costs by at least 40%, providing a significant boost to trade between the two countries. This efficient transportation link will not only facilitate the movement of goods but also foster collaboration and expand regional transportation networks.
Trans-Afghan Railway and Future Collaboration
In addition to the Pakistan-Uzbekistan railway project, the three countries have already signed a strategic roadmap plan for constructing a 573-kilometer Trans-Afghan railway. This ambitious project aims to connect Central Asia to Arabian Sea ports, further strengthening regional connectivity and trade. The Trans-Afghan railway will open up new avenues for cooperation, promoting economic growth and facilitating smoother transportation of goods in the region.
Strengthening Regional Connectivity and Ties
Overall, the Pakistan-Uzbekistan-Afghanistan railway project holds tremendous potential for strengthening regional connectivity, promoting trade, and fostering closer ties between the three nations. By improving transportation infrastructure and reducing trade barriers, this project paves the way for increased economic cooperation and shared prosperity among the countries involved.
The joint protocol finalized by Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan for the railway project signifies a major step toward regional integration and economic development. The proposed rail line will connect Uzbekistan’s train network with Pakistan Railways, opening up new avenues for trade and fostering closer ties between the nations. With its completion expected by 2027, this railway project holds great promise in reducing cargo delivery times and transportation costs, benefiting regional trade and connectivity. Moreover, the future collaboration on the Trans-Afghan railway will further strengthen transportation networks and promote economic growth in the region.