The Republic of Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev highlighted the strategic “significance” of his “unique” ten initiatives in the recently concluded international conference, entitled, “Central Asia and South Asia: Regional interconnectedness: Challenges and Opportunities,” which “mesmerised” all regional leaders, international organisations and policymakers. According to President Mirziyoyev, the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway has the “potential” to become the main “architecture” of greater regional connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia. In this connection, the proposed Trans-Regional Railway Project (TRRP) has already received the “necessary” political patronage and financial support from all major stakeholders in the region and beyond. To further strengthen regional connectivity, governments of Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan have signed a joint request letter, seeking a $4.8 billion loan from international financial institutions for a mega railway project to connect Pakistan with Uzbekistan via Afghanistan (later to other Central Asian states). President Mirziyoyev assured that the construction of TRRP will fully realise the transit potential of Central Asia and South Asia, which provides the “shortest route” and “economic viability” in terms of time and cheapest cost mechanism; transporting goods between South Asia and Europe through Central Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In this connection, many global financial organisations like the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) have shown their keen interest to “contribute” to the mega project. The proposed TRRP crisscrosses the Hindukush range, which would make it one of the highest railroads in the world. According to Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade (MIFT), the World Bank has indicated a willingness to finance the fieldwork and provide technical assistance in the design for the construction of a railway network between three regional countries – Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Uzbek ministry declared that this railway project connecting Afghanistan to Pakistan will cost around the US $5 billion. It has an annual “transit” potential of up to 20 million tonnes of cargo. It estimates that the project will help improve regional trade and connectivity through Afghanistan to the Central Asia Republics. The $5 billion TRRP “Mazar-e-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar” project consists of a 573-km-long railway track; connecting Peshawar to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif all the way to Uzbekistan. Pakistan would operate the routes from Peshawar to Torkham, beyond which Afghanistan and Uzbekistan will operate. On his part, the Uzbek minister highlighted the desire to improve bilateral trade and commercial ties and connectivity with Pakistan. He also discussed rail and road cooperation and explored direct access to seaports. Prime Minister Khan emphasised the significance of joint efforts to promote connectivity for regional development and offered Pakistan’s seaports for greater regional connectivity. Pakistani Minister for Railways, Azam Khan Swati, showcased salient features of the said trilateral project, connecting Pakistan Railways with Afghanistan and Uzbekistan and will include both passenger and cargo high-speed trains. He termed the project a huge opportunity to boost trade flows and strengthening the regional economy. It hopes that the said project will provide a new impetus to Pakistan Railways after the country’s most expensive $6.8 billion Mainline-1 (ML-1) project to upgrade 2,655km tracks under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The trilateral rail project opens up “a new window of opportunity for all the CIS. It seems that TRRP is also a natural sequence of the regional connectivity cherished by Pakistan and Uzbekistan. It will open Pakistani seaports on the Arabian Gulf to Uzbekistan and continue Afghanistan’s gradual integration into the Central Asian economic system. The signing of TRRP has been rightly dubbed as “event of the century” by the chairperson of the Uzbek Senate, Tanzila Narbaeva. In this connection, Uzbekistan had already built a railway link of 60-km from Termez city to the Afghan city, Mazar-e-Sharif. It was built to search for the corridors leading to seaports. The proposed TRRP crisscrosses the Hindu-Kush range. which would make it one of the highest railroads in the world and its design will test the supply of materials. The implementation of this project would substantially bring down the time and cost of transporting goods. According to different research studies and published reports (2020-21), the “delivery” time of goods from the Russian border (Ozinki) to Karachi would be reduced to six to 18 days and from Termez to Karachi to eight to 10 days only. In this regard, the transportation cost of a container from Tashkent to Karachi from this TRRP could be around US$ 1400-1600 that is half the price of transporting it from Tashkent to Bandar Abbas i.e. US$ 2600-3000. Thus it is the most “viable” project which would “revolutionise” the concept of regional connectivity in the days to come. This TRRP would result in “fast track” trade and economic cooperation, early finalisation of preferential transit and trade agreements, increased security and mutual collaboration in the fields of education, culture and tourism in the days to come. It has the potential to “stimulate” the economic growth of all three countries and the region. The TRRP provides access to the three Pakistani seaports of Karachi, Bin Qasim, and Gwadar and will dramatically increase the transit potential and cargo flow to Central Asia. It will revive the region’s historical role as a connecting link/hub between Europe and Asia through the shortest land route. Policymakers in Tashkent have already termed the TRRP as the launch of a new ‘paradigm” for regional development in which Afghanistan will provide a connecting link between Central and South Asia for mutually beneficial interregional cooperation. In this regard, it is high time to recognise the new strategic opportunities and to take advantage of them by intensifying dialogue between all regional countries and external players. President Mirziyoyev hopes that the construction of TRRP would connect regional countries with China and other leading countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Moreover, the TRRP is fully in line with the goals of the Belt and Road Initiative. Being a prominent regional expert of Uzbekistan & CIS I fully endorse the “ten initiatives” of Uzbekistan’s President H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev in which the Trans-Regional Railway Project (TRRP) would be a ‘game’ and “fate” changer in the region. It will stimulate chances of regional connectivity. It is indeed a “cost-benefit” project which has numerous multiplier socio-economic, geopolitical and geostrategic benefits for the regional countries especially Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hopefully, after completion, the TRRP will connect regional economies, trade and commercial powerhouses and industries, and will definitely further foster chances of FDIs and joint ventures. Inclusion of the private sectors of all the respective countries would be a “value-addition.” Innovative financial “derivatives” would further stipulate regional bond markets and their finances. The proposed TRRP would promote regional “economic liberalisation” which would be consequently used to lessen the global economic manipulations and financial marginalisation. The easy, smooth and shortest route would provide ideal economic “accelerators” to revolutionise the economies of Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. So Trans-Regional Railway Project of Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar is indeed a platform of economic growth and greater regional connectivity. The writer is a Regional Geopolitical Analyst and Member Board of Experts (Centre for Global & Strategic Studies). 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