ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Uzbekistan have started discussions for the construction of trans-Afghan railways project to enhance bilateral trade and regional connectivity.

In this connection, the first meeting of the trilateral working group on Mazar-e-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway line was held in Tashkent, said a handout of the commerce ministry on Thursday.

“I am glad to share that I held very productive bilateral meetings in Tashkent with the leadership of Uzbekistan on trade, Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), Transit Trade and Custom Cooperation,” Mr Razak said at the conclusion of his visit to Uzbekistan.

He said the trans-Afghan railways project was discussed in a well-attended conference, organised by the Republic of Uzbekistan, where several international donor agencies were present. The trilateral talks were also held between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan and a way forward has been agreed upon, the adviser added.

The two countries are striving to enhance trade and regional connectivity. Uzbekistan shares borders with Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan. Improved connectivity and trade relations can open the doors for enhancing Pakistan’s exports to Uzbekistan and beyond, which has a market of $90 billion.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2021

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