AKIPRESS.COM - Pakistan signed a joint appeal letter Tuesday seeking a $4.8 billion loan from international financial institutions for a Trans-Afghan railway line project with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, Anadolu reported.
The rail link would connect Pakistan and Uzbekistan via Afghanistan and later the Central Asian countries.
Prime Minister Imran Khan signed the letter on behalf of Pakistan for the mega project, according to Abdul Razak Dawood, adviser to the prime minister on commerce and investment.
The signing ceremony, held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad, was also attended by Uzbekistan’s Minister for Transport Ilkham Makhkamov. The joint appeal had already been signed by the presidents of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
Ilkham Makhkamov also called on Prime Minister Khan and discussed matters relating to bilateral relations, regional connectivity and peace and security in the region.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said Khan underlined his country's resolve to forge closer ties with Central Asia covering trade, investments, energy and people-to-people contacts.
Khan also highlighted the importance of joint efforts to promote regional connectivity for economic growth and development of the region and said his country’s seaports provided a great opportunity to Central Asian states for access to the Indian Ocean.
The two sides also agreed to pursue the Mazar-e-Sharif–Kabul–Peshawar Trans-Afghan railway line project. The prime minister supported Uzbek efforts to secure financing for the project by signing the joint appeal letter addressed to the heads of various international financial institutions by the heads of state/government of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Earlier, the Uzbek minister for transport also met with Pakistan’s Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati and discussed rail and road cooperation from Central Asia to Pakistani seaports.