Central Asia Aids Afghanistan
“With a throaty whistle and flash of fresh blue paint, a diesel locomotive tugging a train of box and tanker cars rolls through a railway station in northern Afghanistan’s Balkh province. The 75-kilometer stretch of track from the Uzbek border to Mazar-e Sharif that opened in 2012, the first international railway in the nation’s history, could be the start of a transportation revolution that helps solidify Afghanistan as a trade and communications hub. “This connects Afghanistan to the world,” an 18-year-old high school student named Shakrullah told CNN at a demonstration of the new railroad. “I want trains for all the provinces of Afghanistan, not just for Balkh province.”
The $165 million railroad, part of a 2,000-kilometer network proposed by the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program, could not have happened without the support of Uzbekistan. Stability in Afghanistan is something the Uzbeks view favorably, an attitude shared by the other nations of Central Asia, all of which are playing a role in their neighbor’s recovery from more than 30 years of conflict...”
Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Central Asia Aids Afghanistan,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 4, No. 3, 2013: 34-39.
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