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Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Tuesday discussed Trans Afghan Rail Project that would connect Pakistan and Uzbekistan via Afghanistan, and later, the other Central Asian countries could also join in the project.
A delegation of Uzbekistan led by Uzbek Minister for Transport Makhamov Ilkhom, First Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Kudratov Laziz, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sidiqov Furqat, and Charge d`Affairs of Uzbekistan to Pakistan Tashmatov Sadulla, called on Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, here on Tuesday.
The dignitaries highlighted the matters pertaining to mutual interest of the two countries and cargo train service during the meeting, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Railways.
Under this project, Pakistan and Uzbekistan will be connected by rail link through Afghanistan.
Later, other Central Asian countries, such as Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, will also be able to join the proposed rail link.
This important project will enable cargo service between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan.
According to the ministry, Prime Minister Imran Khan signed joint appeal in the name of the World Bank for investing around $4.8 billion in rail link among Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan.
Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Advisor on Trade and Investment Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Muhammad Azam were also present on the occasion.
Presidents of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan had already signed the trilateral joint appeal to the World Bank, and the rail link would play its role for the progress and prosperity of these countries.
In this regard, the three countries will appeal to the president of the World Bank for 4.8 billion dollars financing, the World Bank authorities are already on board in response to this appeal.
This railway link will be crucial to economic development of the three countries, CARs and will help strengthening the regional ties.
With the funds raised under this joint appeal, a 573km long railway link will be laid. This shortest economic track would run from Peshawar to Kabul and from Kabul to Uzbekistan via Mazar-e-Sharif.
On this shortest and economically attractive route, 27 stations, 912 artificial constructions and seven tunnels will be established to facilitate cargo movement.
On this occasion, Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati vowed to strengthen economy through joint venture and regional connectivity.
That would also obliterate terrorism from the region, he further added.
The federal minister vowed strengthening regional economy by executing joint ventures with the Central Asian countries, which would help in rooting out terrorism.
This article first appeared on www.brecorder.com
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