Prime Minister Imran Khan signed a letter today for a joint approach with Afghanistan and Uzbekistan for asking international financial agencies to finance the railway that is envisioned to run from Pakistan to Uzbekistan through Afghanistan.
The announcement was made by Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood on Twitter as he shared the news and explained that the project was vital for the nation’s vision for trade and connectivity with the Central Asian states.
“Today the Prime Minister signed a letter for a joint approach with Afghanistan & Uzbekistan for asking international financial agencies to finance the railway from Pakistan to Uzbekistan through Afghanistan. This fits well with our vision for trade and connectivity through Afghanistan to the Central Asia Republics,” the advisor tweeted.
Already signed by the presidents of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, the letter essentially seeks a $4.8 billion loan from the World Bank for the purpose of completing the railway project.
The premier took the decision to sign the letter after Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati and Mr. Dawood called on him on Wednesday and discussed about boosting trade and economic relations among the three countries and the region through rail network.
They also discussed the possibility of a cargo train service that would bring in a new era of development for Pakistan and the other concerned countries.
A statement from a railways’ official noted that the $4.8 billion project would help complete the 573-km long railway track that will connect Peshawar to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif and all the way to Uzbekistan.
Mr. Dawood added in his tweet that in a similar vein, trade agreements with Afghanistan are currently being pursued, followed by similar discussions with Uzbekistan. The hope is that the project will contribute immensely to the nation’s exports.
“Trade agreements with Afghanistan, currently under progress, will be followed by similar agreements with Uzbekistan. I hope to visit Uzbekistan in January 2021. Insha’Allah this will open doors for increase in our exports,” the advisor said.