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Roundup: Sino-Afghan railway connection hailed as stride to bolstering trade, security

KABUL: An Afghan newspaper has welcomed the first-ever arrival of cargo train from China to Afghanistan’s northern Hairatan border town as a vital step towards enhancing trade and economic activities as well as stabilizing security in Afghanistan and in the region.

“Connecting China to Afghanistan through railway is very important for stabilizing peace in Afghanistan and boosting trade and economic activities among countries in the region,” the Daily Afghanistan said in its editorial on Saturday.

Afghanistan’s connection with China, the second economic power of the world, would enable the landlocked country to reduce its dependency on Karachi port, the paper said, adding the newly opened Sino-Afghan road would enable countries in the region to seek common interests in boosting trade and economic cooperation in Afghanistan instead of rivalry over political interests.

The first-ever cargo train from China, after two weeks of journey through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, arrived in Hairatan port of the northern Balkh province on Wednesday.

The development has been widely welcomed in Afghanistan as all the newspapers published the event in their front pages and electronic media in their reports and commentaries described the Sino-Afghan railroad connection as significant for revival of the war-torn country’s impoverished economy.

“It opens up new opportunities for Afghanistan’s commerce and economic activities,” Azarakhsh Hafizi, chairman of international relations of Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said at a ceremony in Hairatan on Wednesday to welcome the first Sino-Afghan freight train.

According to Afghans, linking the war-plagued Afghanistan with the world’s second economic power through railway, from one hand would enhance trade and economic activities in the region and from the other, would create job opportunities for Afghans and eventually alleviates poverty which is essential for stabilizing security in the country. (Xinhua)

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