Officials from five countries are expected to gather in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, for a two-day meeting starting Sunday to discuss possibility of building a railway through Afghanistan to Pakistan, 1TV reports.
A technical team from railway authority will represent Afghanistan in the meeting with which will be attended also by representatives from Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Mirwais Ghafoori, director of construction and maintenance department at Afghanistan Railway Authority, said that it prefers the railway to pass through western Afghanistan through the provinces of Balkh, Herat, Helmand and Kandahar before entering Pakistan.
He said that the authority has completed technical and environmental studies for railway between Balkh’s Mazar-i-Sharif city and Herat.
Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce said any railway which would connect Central Asia with South Asia would be benefit countries in the region. Its deputy CEO, Tawfiq Dawari, said that the cost of transportation of commodities would be less with railway.
Meanwhile, Naqibullah Safi, CEO of Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce, said that the railway would help resolve problems of transit with Pakistan and that it would take lesser time for commodities to reach their destination.
If built, the railway will get Afghanistan between 400 and 500 million dollars in transit revenue.