Amidst the war effects and pandemic brutality, there is hope. Afghanistan and Iran after ages have shown an interest in promoting trade. Therefore, the first rail link between the two countries has opened up.
This project was initiated in the year 2007. Also, Iran funded on both sides of the border to provide assistance. Afghanistan is a country marred by extremist right-wing jihadis. However, with decades of trouble now seems like a time of change.
The landlocked country
Afghanistan is a landlocked country. Therefore, it means that transportation and sending goods is a difficult deal for Afghani traders. However, now things may get better. The $75 million project’s first train arrived at Roznak station. Throngs of people were gathered to welcome the beacon of hope.
Prior to the ceremony, the trial journey was carried out. A freight train delivered 400 tons of cement from Iran to Afghanistan last week.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in his virtual speech expressed joy over this improvement. He described this as a “historic and vital project.” Additionally, in times of poor trade, this is one more reason to bring prosperity to the underdeveloped parts of Afghanistan.
The route is a 225-kilometer line. It connects the Iranian city of Khaf to the Afghan city of Herat. Moreover, it is the sixth Iranian border railroad with a neighboring country. As per Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami, the railroad can transport one million passengers and six million tons of goods a year.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani termed it as a historic day. Furthermore, he stressed elevating the economies and markets of both countries.
“Our victory is your victory and your happiness are our joy,” said Rouhani.
“We are proud to have hosted millions of Afghans over the past 40 years,” he added.
Iran and Afghanistan are trade partners. This route will potentially increase Afghan exports. Dried fruits and marble stones are the famous products of Afghanistan. Additionally, it is expected that this rail route will enable export to central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
A government advisor said, ” “Trade can bring some much-needed geostrategic stability in the region.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was ecstatic with this development.
He called the railroad “a precious gift from Iran”. According to him, this would restore the Silk Road trade route.
Locals see this as an opportunity for growth and economic benefits.
This project is a result of a tripartite agreement. Iran, Afghanistan, and India, the latter plays an important role in the promotion of trade. India will play a vital role in trade between Afghanistan with Russia. Additionally, Europe and Turkey will also be targeted for trade.
All in all, this is a great news for the trade and business watchers.