Afghan, Pakistani officials discuss Railway project

KABUL (ToloNews): Afghanistan Railway Authority said that the head of the authority on an official trip to Pakistan discussed the start of the feasibility study of the Trans-Afghanistan railway project.

Abdul Sami Durani, a spokesman for the ARA, said the head of the Pakistan railway has also pledged to pay the cost of assessments of the railway project.

“Trans-Afghanistan railway project has the necessary preparations for technical assessments and Pakistani officials said they will jointly pay the cost of feasibility study of the project,” said an ARA spokesman.

A number of political analysts said that Trans-Afghanistan Railway is the biggest economic project in the region and if implemented, Central Asia will be connected with South Asia through Afghanistan.

“If Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan reach an agreement on the railway project, it will have many benefits to Afghanistan,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman, deputy head of the chamber of commerce and investment.

The railway authority said that the project covers 764 kilometers of the railway from Mazar-e-Sharif city in Balkh to the Torkham crossing in Pakistan and will be completed in five years with an estimated budget of at least $6 billion.