Work on Railways Project Linking Pakistan and Afghanistan to Start This July

The railway project linking Pakistan and Afghanistan via ML-I is likely to start in July 2022 in cognizance of the security situation in Afghanistan.

The railway link has been planned through the Mazar-e-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar rail link, according to official documents.

A roadmap for the implementation of the project activities was signed by Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan in March 2021. However, the project activities could not be run due to the security situation in Afghanistan.

The three countries had decided again to resume the activities during a meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in December 2021 and had reshared a revised draft roadmap for implementation of the project activities with the Ministry of Railways in March 2022.

In this regard, the Ministry of Railways has convened an inter-ministerial meeting of the concerned ministries, including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Commerce, and Communication; and the Finance and Economic Affairs Divisions, for finalization and agreement on the roadmap. After being vetted by all the ministries, the draft roadmap will be shared with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan for signatures.

As per the revised roadmap, the project activities will commence in July 2022 after taking into account Afghanistan’s security situation.

The documents further revealed that work on ML-I can be started three months after the Government of Pakistan and the National Railway Administration (NRA) of China decide on the following:

(ii) Approval of NRA to call Tenders

 (b) (i) 6806.783 US$ Million as per PC-1 approved in August 2020 would be incurred on ML-1 Project

(ii) The project execution period would be 8.5 years from the mobilization of the contractor at the site after signing the contract agreement and all other legal formalities.