ARA: Pakistan requests change to planned Trans-Afghanistan Railway Route

KABUL (Tolo News): The head of the Afghanistan Railway Authority, Bakht-ur-Rahman Sharafat, said Pakistan wants to alter the path of the Trans-Afghanistan Railway project.

Sharafat said that Islamabad is in favor of shifting the railway’s route from Logar-Torkham to Logar-Kharlachi.

According to Sharafat, this issue was discussed in the meeting of the International Union of Railways in the Middle East, held in Turkey.

“Pakistan has suggested another path to link from Logar to Paktia and then to Karam, Chamkani districts, and finally to Pakistan via Kharlachi road, but at the moment, Uzbekistan is calling for this (currently planned) road,” he told TOLOnews.

The Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) noted that it does not have enough funds for the implementation of this project.

“This project also demands a lot of support since it costs a lot of money, and the existing status of Afghanistan does not require us to begin the actual work of this project until it is feasible,” Bakht-ur-Rahman Sharafat further stated.

According to some experts, the implementation of the Trams-Afghanistan Railway project will significantly lower the cost of goods and increase the nation’s exports.

“The project can form good economic and commercial foundations between the countries of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, especially in the export of Afghan materials,” said Shakir Yaqoobi, an economist.

Ismatullah Irgashev, Uzbekistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan, and Ahmad Farooq, Pakistan’s ambassador in Tashkent, have previously discussed transportation projects and the construction of a railway from Uzbekistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan.

According to statistics provided by the ARA, the Trans-Afghanistan Railway is 764 km long and its cost is estimated to be $6 billion.