Train to Progress
Afghanistan has set up its first ever train station in the city of Mazar-e-sharif. The northern city recently saw its first train chugging into the newly built station following a 47-mile inaugural journey from the country’s border with Uzbekistan. Afghanistan’s industrial development has been victimized to the Great Game played out by Rus- sia and Britain. Soviet invasion made the prospects bleaker and the consequent civil war deteriorated the situation. The £110 million project, funded by the Asian Development Bank, will link Afghanistan’s rail system to Asia’s existing expansive network. The project has finally developed a century after Afghanistan’s ruler, Abdur Rahman Khan, refused to join the rail age fearing that the system would be used by foreign invaders. The new railway system will allow Afghan traders and businessmen to export fruits, carpets, nuts and minerals to Asia and Europe and will also prevent breakdown of traffic at border crossings. The infrastructure is expected to provide a boost to Afghanistan’s struggling economy and GDP.
The completion of the project comes in the wake of Pakistan blocking its supply routes to 140,000 NATOled troops. US military analysts have lauded the railway system and anticipate that it will alleviate the problems caused by the Pakistani blockade.