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Afghanistan and the Indian support

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  • #16
    Originally posted by S2 View Post
    Sorry but I'm convinced of that. India will have to replace ISAF with significant numbers of troops and cadre IN AFGHANISTAN. Short of that and that government and military will have a projected life-span of, maybe, five years.
    S2, I think that would actually be counter-productive. What better propaganda than fighting the polytheists/pagans in Muslim lands? Pakistan and the Taliban would have a field day. India needs a military presence, but it cannot be seen overtly leading from the front. The ANA will have to become the face of this war, if Afghanistan is to come out on top.
    Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
    -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry


    • #17
      Originally posted by Tronic View Post
      Doktor, the important thing here is that the Afghans share the same interests as us.
      I don't doubt that many Afghanistanis share those interests.

      All I said was my guess that Pakistan wont be happy with such events and would try to give hard time into stabilizing A-stan.
      No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

      To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.


      • #18

        After ten years it's not been "...hurridly...". Further, it's not as though a goodly number of those guys hadn't fired a weapon in anger before joining the ANA. It'll take more than air support. Down on the ground, it'll take Indian troops to stiffen their moral spine.

        That's the real issue. Short of that, nine times out of ten they'll look the other way and avoid a fight.

        One wonders if a decade is enough to raise a professional modern army. Further, it is also debatable whether the given time frame is adequate to instill basic soldiering skills into such militias. The Afghan surely know how to kill, I doubt they know how to fight wars.
        It's going to take some ballsy Indian officers and N.C.O.s acting in the same capacity as our S.F.-mentoring, comms to air support and arty. It'll take better air support and arty than the afghans can or would likely provide. 24/7 fire support isn't part of their lexicon.

        It'll take actual ground forces to provide the backbone to any meaningful ops...or they just won't be all that meaningful.

        Sorry but I'm convinced of that. India will have to replace ISAF with significant numbers of troops and cadre IN AFGHANISTAN. Short of that and that government and military will have a projected life-span of, maybe, five years.
        This is the most tricky part. The InA is more than willing to commit its rank and file to the battlefield, in Division size or more. Its the strategists who are skeptical about commiting their army to Astan, perceived to be a foreign AND muslim land. They have no qualms in commiting to UN mandated other foreign countries, but quickly develop feets of clay when commiting unilaterally to Astan.
        sigpicAnd on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...


        • #19
          India begins use of Chabahar port in Iran despite international pressure

          Reacting to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments that the US was engaging in "very intense and very blunt" conversations with India and others like China and Turkey to stop importing oil from Iran in order to pressure Tehran over its covert nuclear programme, officials in New Delhi yesterday said they would not be "coerced" by any country.

          And reinforcing its stand defying Western sanctions, India recently used Chabahar port in southeastern Iran for the first time ever to transport 100,000 metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan as part of its humanitarian aid to the war-torn country.

          India helped build Chabahar a decade ago to provide it access to Afghanistan and Central Asia- banned by neighbouring nuclear rival Pakistan- and is involved in constructing a 560-mile long rail line from the Zabul iron ore mines in southern Afghanistan to the Iranian port.

          Along with Iran and Afghanistan it also has an agreement to accord Indian goods, headed for Central Asia and Afghanistan preferential treatment and tariff reductions at Chabahar, an arrangement it plans to exploit imminently.

          A defiant India was also dispatching a large trade delegation to Iran later this month to explore business opportunities created by Western sanctions.

          According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Delhi the Islamic republic offered massive potential for export of Indian products and commodities annually worth over $10 billion.

          "The potential of trade and economic relations between India and Iran can touch $30 billion by 2015 from the current level of $13.7 billion" Association secretary general D S Rawat said.

          Importing around 12 per cent of its oil and gas requirements from Iran for an estimated $12 billion, India maintains it will abide only by UN sanctions in this regard and not implement those imposed by individual nations or groupings.

          Over the past few weeks it has also been examining ways to step up trade with Iran amid trouble in settling its oil bills as sanctions were closing down banking routes.

          An Iranian Central Bank delegation is presently in Delhi to determine options for India to pay for crude imports and is negotiating to offset a proportion of this against acquiring oil refining machinery, heaving engineering goods and pharmaceuticals all of which the Islamic Republic badly needed.

          Till recently Indian companies were routing route payments through Turkey's Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS after EU pressure forced German-based Europaisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG to stop handling the payments last year, but it remains uncertain how long this arrangement would continue.

          Last month India's finance minister Pranab Mukherjee rejected pressure from the Obama administration to join the US-EU led sanctions against Tehran.

          Speaking to reporters in Chicago he declared that it was "not possible" for India, the world's fourth largest hydrocarbons consumer to reduce its oil and gas imports from Iran as it desperately needed them to sustain economic growth.

          India begins use of Chabahar port in Iran despite international pressure - Telegraph
          I'm posting this here since Chah Bahar's primary role is an Indian route to Afghanistan and that route is now officially open.

          Iran plays a big part in India's Afghan equation.
          Last edited by Tronic; 01 Mar 12,, 21:58.
          Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
          -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry


          • #20
            Can India ‘Fix’ Afghanistan?

            As the United States winds down its military engagement in Afghanistan, optimism is growing about the role India can play to stabilize and develop the country.

            This week, visiting United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta encouraged Indian leaders to take a more active role in Afghanistan, involvement once considered by the United States as merely an opportunistic way for India to antagonize Pakistan.

            The United States’ encouragement is hardly needed. India plans to “intensify” its already “high level political engagement and broad-based development assistance in a wide range of sectors,” India’s minister for external affairs, S.M. Krishna, told Afghanistan’s visiting foreign minister, Zalmai Rassoul, in a speech in New Delhi last month. With assistance from Europe and the United States expected to drop substantially, India may be left as one of Afghanistan’s most prominent aid partners.

            Here on India Ink, we have been asking: Does this make any sense? On first glance, at least, India seems an unlikely provider of development assistance because of the serious issues troubling it at home. Many of the same things that Afghanistan needs, from infrastructure to education, India is having troubles providing for many citizens, even without the regular threat of attacks from the Taliban.

            India’s state-run power industry struggles to get enough fuel thanks to mismanagement and bureaucracy, even its brightest youth can’t land a spot at a good university and about third of its citizens live in destitute poverty, with hundreds of millions malnourished. The current central government is grappling with a growing deficit, shrinking economic growth and an increasingly dissatisfied voter base.

            It’s no surprise that India’s Afghanistan plans have been greeted with some skepticism.

            “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” said Rajeev Malik, an economist at CLSA, a research and brokerage house, who has been a sharp critic of India’s fiscal policy and government. “India has not managed to fix these issues itself,” he said, but added that the country “probably has more experience than Afghanistan.”

            India’s on-the-ground aid record, though limited, has been decent.

            India has committed some $2 billion in aid to Afghanistan, of which $1 billion has been spent, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. Indian public and private companies have built a highway to Iran, put up transmission lines to bring power to Kabul, are constructing a new Parliament building and working on a hydro-electric project in western Afghanistan.

            India sent one million tons of high-protein biscuits to Afghanistan, and plans to follow that with an additional 250,000 tons this year. There are 1,000 Afghan students on scholarships in Indian universities right now.

            More ambitious plans are in place. In October of last year, when Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, visited India, the two countries signed a strategic agreement that said India would train and equip Afghan security forces. This month, India is holding meetings for regional investors interested in Afghanistan in New Delhi.

            Invitees include Turkey, China and Pakistan. Over a dinner in May in New Delhi, Mr. Rassoul told Indian government advisers Afghanistan would like India to concentrate on building up governance, law courts and health care.

            “We don’t want a fundamentalist Afghanistan, just like everyone else,” explained Syed Akbaruddin, spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, in a recent interview. “We don’t want an Afghanistan that slides backward.”

            The two countries share ties cemented long ago, he said, citing the well-known Rabindranath Tagore story “Kabuliwala,” about an Afghan fruit seller who befriends an Indian girl. India has a limited physical presence on the ground in Afghanistan, he said, which should quell concerns that India is focused on containing or antagonizing Pakistan. “What do we have in Afghanistan that is a threat to Pakistan?,” he asked rhetorically.

            India’s aid to Afghanistan comes without any conditions, unlike aid to India from foreign countries in the past, he said. India is not pressuring the Afghanistan government to improve, say, education for girls, or rights for women, but is focusing on infrastructure and other concrete projects, he said.

            India’s projects in Afghanistan are “replicas of what India has been able to successfully implement in some part of India or the other,” said Mr. Akbaruddin. “They have been incubated in some part of India.”

            Staunch supporters of India’s involvement say sheer practicality of the alliance makes it work.

            “Today the average Afghan knows that for many of the things that would lead to an improved quality of life, India offers the most viable option,” said C. Uday Bhaskar, a security analyst based in New Delhi.

            To explain, he offered an example: The quality of higher education in Britain or the United States or Australia might be better than in India, he said, but most Afghans can’t afford Western universities, and if even they could, they probably wouldn’t get a visa to go anyway.

            Much of what is on Afghanistan’s “wish list” can be “enabled in a considerable degree by India,” Mr. Bhaskar said. President Karzai himself attended an Indian university, doing his postgraduate studies at Himachal Pradesh University, in Shimla.

            Others note that the “aid” relationship is not new. “People forget this has been going on quietly for a long time,” said K. Shankar Bajpai, a former ambassador to China, Pakistan and the United States, who is now an analyst with Delhi Policy Group. For six decades, India was “very much engaged” in Afghanistan, working on everything from building tunnels through the mountains of the Hindu Kush to education and health programs.

            Recently, the two countries have built up a “friendly relationship without some of the imperial hang-ups that spoiled Delhi and Kabul’s relationship in the past,” he said. In a sign of this friendliness, in March, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Mr. Karzai to congratulate him on the birth of his daughter.

            Another factor to consider is that while India’s development problems weigh heavily on the country’s poor and middle class, facilities for the wealthy in India are often world class. Many of Afghanistan’s wealthy are already beneficiaries, and these upper-class industries and ties are only expected to grow.

            Take health care: India’s private hospitals, and especially those in New Delhi, serve as de facto doctors’ offices for wealthy Afghans, who are just a two-hour flight away. Hospitals like Max Healthcare’s giant facility in Saket have special facilitators for Afghan patients who come for everything from in vitro fertilization treatments to heart trouble, doctors say. Often, their Afghan patients pay in crisp United States dollar bills.

            On the other end of the economic spectrum, at least one Indian charity has also been successful in Afghanistan.

            The Self Employed Women’s Association(SEWA), which starts women’s self-help groups, has been running vocational training programs in Afghanistan since 2008, teaching women to make jam and sew clothing, among other skills. The group said it has trained 3,000 Afghan women so far, despite two fatal terrorist attacks on the team in Kabul. The women, who are often orphans or widows, use the training to earn an income outside their home.

            Whether the ambitious plans in industries like mining and manufacturing will work out remains to be seen. In November, a consortium of public and private Indian companies, led by the state-owned Steel Authority of India, won a bid to mine in three states in Afghanistan, which includes the construction of a six million-ton steel plant, an 800-megawatt power plant and 200 kilometers each of road, rail and transmission lines – as well as a pledge to set aside one percent of profits for establishing educational and medical facilities.

            “We are very bullish about this,” the chairman of SAIL said when the deal was announced. Total investment by the Indian companies is pegged at $10.8 billion.

            The big numbers, heavy-duty infrastructure plans and optimistic outlook are a stark contrast to SAIL’s India performance. In February, SAIL said quarterly profits fell by more than 40 percent from the same period the year before, thanks in part to higher raw material costs and SAIL’s inability to get coal from another state-owned company.

            Can India 'Fix' Afghanistan? -
            Interesting assessment in the backdrop of India's own domestic social issues.
            Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
            -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry


            • #21
              Originally posted by Tronic View Post
              Iran plays a big part in India's Afghan equation.
              Thoughts on whether Iran will remain a neutral player and see who eventually gains supremacy in A-stan before committing, or initially support the Afghanis or Pakistan/Taliban?


              • #22
                Originally posted by Tronic View Post
                Interesting assessment in the backdrop of India's own domestic social issues.
                I'm glad we can take those steps w.r.t Afghanistan, and dont have the opposition parties pulling down the ruling party for regional state politics.

                Cheers!...on the rocks!!


                • #23
                  The United States cannot fix her economy. The whole point is, that we are meddling in the affairs of other nations. There must be a way, other than policing the nation, by placing troops in that nation. Doesn't it seem a strange thing to do? I mean, if Afghanistan was the United States, and if the United States was as impoverished, in many ways, as that nation, would the United States have agreed to the current situation? The more logical thing, is to improve the internal security of the U. S.


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by AdityaMookerjee View Post
                    The United States cannot fix her economy. The whole point is, that we are meddling in the affairs of other nations. There must be a way, other than policing the nation, by placing troops in that nation. Doesn't it seem a strange thing to do? I mean, if Afghanistan was the United States, and if the United States was as impoverished, in many ways, as that nation, would the United States have agreed to the current situation? The more logical thing, is to improve the internal security of the U. S.
                    What level of education supports such statements of yours? Still better, how old are you?
                    sigpicAnd on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Bridgeburner_ View Post
                      Thoughts on whether Iran will remain a neutral player and see who eventually gains supremacy in A-stan before committing, or initially support the Afghanis or Pakistan/Taliban?
                      Iran won't mind doing business with Afghanistan.
                      Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
                      -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry


                      • #26
                        Afghanistan Woos Foreign Investors in New Delhi

                        It was a standing-room-only crowd Thursday at the Taj Palace Hotel’s Shahjehan Hall, as Afghan government officials and business executives wooed foreign investors at an all-day conference in New Delhi.

                        Hundreds of businesspeople and diplomats were in the audience, including representatives from China, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkey, as well as from multinational conglomerates, including General Electric, Exxon Mobil and JPMorgan Chase.

                        Investment-led domestic economic growth will “ensure the economic stability of the country in the current period of transition” and in the coming years, Zalmai Rassoul, Afghanistan’s minister of foreign affairs, told the crowd.

                        Fahim Hashimi, the president of the Hashimi Group and director of international affairs for the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, expressed optimism about the country’s development, saying, “From a decade of turmoil, conflict and mismanagement, to an emerging market, Afghanistan has come a long way.”

                        As the United States and Europe wind down their military presence in the country, the Afghan government is hoping to replace foreign aid with taxes and profits from domestic industry. So dependent is Afghanistan on external aid that in 2010, international assistance amounted to roughly 97 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to a commonly cited World Bank estimate.

                        Thursday’s conference, sponsored by the Confederation of Indian Industry, is part of India’s recent increase in engagement with Afghanistan.

                        Afghanistan’s Ministry of Commerce distributed a booklet full of investment opportunities at the conference, led by a more than $10 billion pipeline project to deliver natural gas from Turkmenistan to both Pakistan and India. Other options included a $23 million cement plant in Jabal-e Seraj (the handout added that “any investment in the cement sector of Afghanistan would be welcomed”), a $6.6 million investment in saffron processing and a $5 million “poultry economic development package.”

                        Afghanistan is passing a number of laws designed to make the country friendly for foreign investment, said Prasoon Sadozai, the director of legal and regulatory affairs for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, like allowing 100 percent ownership of shares in a company by foreign investors, eliminating export taxes on any goods made or assembled in Afghanistan and allowing foreign companies to roll over loses from one year to the next to offset taxes.

                        Bloomberg, Samsung and Sony have already registered their companies with Afghanistan’s business registration board, he added.

                        The country has no restrictions on foreign investment in any sector, can provide land in industrial parks at reduced rents and is building tax-free zones, Wafiullah Iftekhar, the director of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency, told the crowd.

                        Foreign attendees mentioned security and corruption as their biggest concerns about doing business in Afghanistan. But several seemed keenly interested in trying to secure a partner there.

                        Kakizaki Shinsuke, the chief representative in India for Mitsui-Soko International, a Japanese logistics company, said he’d been trying to do business in India for a year and a half and found the competition tough. One way to jump start business is to “go first,” he said, and Afghanistan presents that opportunity. He had already spoken to several Afghan logistics companies, and said he hoped to partner with one of them so they could use Mitsui-Soko’s international network.

                        Plenty of attendees from Afghanistan were seeking the same.

                        Saba Sahar, in a glittery silver top, black headscarf and rhinestone-studded glasses, said she came from Afghanistan in search of investors for her film production company. “Afghanistan and India should work together to make films to show their common culture,” she said through an interpreter. She said she was looking for someone to invest in films about social issues, including women’s rights and violence against women.

                        Ahmad Zubir Arian, internal audit manager of Afghanistan’s Safi Group, said he came searching for mining companies to partner with his company. “The mining sector is a new thing in Afghanistan, and we want professional companies,” he said.

                        What about the American government’s efforts to help Afghanistan grow its domestic economy?

                        “They are, you know, trying,” Mr. Arian said, “but I feel customs and traditions are very important.” He’d prefer to find an Indian partner, he said. Indian companies and Indian people have a long relationship with Afghanistan, he said, and “we can easily understand each other.”

                        Questions from the floor after presentations ranged from the practical to the idealistic. “Yours is such a beautiful country,” one man said, noting that was his impression only from flying over it. But, he said, the tourism sector has not yet been discussed. Would there be programs for developing that as well?

                        “Ah, well…,” Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Afghanistan’s minister of finance, said with a heavy sigh. “Let me say there are four flights a day and I would like that to double,” he said, adding that he hoped the planes would be full of tourists from India coming in, rather than Afghans going out for medical treatment.

                        Security was widely discussed, both during presentations and privately.

                        “Security is an issue,” said M. Ayuob Omarzada, first secretary (economic) at the Afghanistan embassy in New Delhi, in an interview. “But Afghanistan is a good source, especially of minerals and mines. A lot of opportunity is there.”

                        In Afghanistan, Mr. Hashimi promised in his presentation, “you will not see a company closed because of security.” But uncertainty is a “prominent challenge for investors,” he said, adding “just like anywhere else in the world.”

                        Afghanistan has recently signed a number of partnership agreements with foreign governments including the United States, India and Britain, Mr. Iftekhar of the investment agency noted. “This will, inshallah, remove any uncertainties,” he said.

                        Afghanistan Woos Foreign Investors in New Delhi -

                        Indian industry bats for Indo-Afghan free trade pact

                        NEW DELHI: Indian industry, asked to go into violence-ridden Afghanistan, has pitched for a free-trade agreement between India and Afghanistan.

                        The government on Thursday made a strong pitch for investment by India's private sector in Afghanistan as it sought to sell the country as a major investment destination to the world. Addressing a meet of potential investors from across 40 countries, foreign minister S M Krishna called upon companies to contribute "to the security, stability and prosperity of Afghanistan and the region particularly as NATO forces draw down from a combat to a train, advise and assist role".

                        "We need to offer a narrative of opportunity to counter the anxiety of withdrawal, uncertainty, instability and foreign interference," Krishna said at the meet, organized by CII. Pakistan, too, participated in the meet, with its private companies having B2B meetings with their Afghan counterparts.

                        "Investments can provide that hope for employment, training and opportunity for the future. We encourage our industries to venture into Afghanistan in numbers together with Afghan partners. Let the grey suits of businessmen take the place of the olive green fatigues of soldiers and generals in Afghanistan," he added.

                        Krishna said that building Afghanistan's economic self-reliance will be more enduring than the development and tactical assistance given to the country as he urged Indian industry to step up their investments in the war-torn nation. He said India has taken several steps to increase imports from Afghanistan, including concessional Customs duties, and that Indian companies investing in the country could tap the domestic market for exports.

                        Krishna observed that global investments in Afghanistan could turn the country into a regional trade and transit hub that easily links with the energy-rich Central Asian republics and growing markets of India, China, Russia and Turkey.

                        He proposed a Mutual Compact between foreign governments and global investors to drive investments in Afghanistan in a manner that benefits both Afghanistan and the investing entities. Earlier, Dr Zalmal Rassoul, minister of foreign affairs, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, said in his address that the government of Afghanistan has accorded high priority to private sector development, which will lead to industrialization, accelerated job creation, and greater economic self-reliance. Stating that public and private investments in Afghanistan has scaled the $10 billion level this year, he said the Afghan government has ushered in investor-friendly laws that will be of essence to regional and internal investors look at business opportunities in his homeland.

                        Indian industry bats for Indo-Afghan free trade pact - Times Of India
                        Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
                        -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry


                        • #27
                          I am wondering if the Bamyan region has both Coal and Iron deposits of vast amounts and they are developed into ore/coal gathering and processing mining companies wouldn't it make more sense to arbitrage selling this iron ore/ coal within the region first to steel mills and other consumers?

                          Then sell within region or to India via price difference to via best deal etc... granted the outright developer of those deposits may gain most but even for that developer those costs would be apparent and recapturing them via selling and recapturing capital would be the right way to go.

                          Car factory in Uzbekistan from Gm and other steel consumers may provide some impetus for local consumption of those ores at least. Distance wise just to the port is about four to five times longer than to Samarkand. About 340 miles vs 1500 straight line if you consider curves it will probably be about the same 4 to 5 times difference. Probably a 9 times difference if you consider there is already a line to Mazar-i-Sharif from Uzbekistan that is operational.

                          IPS – AFGHANISTAN: Trains Face a Rough Political Terrain | Inter Press Service

                          Afghan railway starts commercial traffic - Railway Gazette

                          Afghan railway starts commercial traffic
                          03 February 2012
                          First revenue train on the 75 km rail link from Hairatan arrives at Naibabad near Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan.

                          AFGHANISTAN: Celebrations were held at Naibabad freight terminal at 12.00 on February 3, when ‘a substantial reception party’ greeted the arrival of the first train carrying commercial traffic on the 75 km rail link between Hairatan and Mazar-i-Sharif.

                          The inaugural load comprised nine wagons of flour from Kazakhstan and three of timber from Siberia. Unloading began shortly after the train arrived at Naibabad, which lies just east of Mazar-i-Sharif airport.

                          Nominally operational since mid-2011, the line saw its first test trains reach Mazar-i-Sharif in late December, following further work to reinforce the trackbed and improve security. The line is being operated by Uzbekistan’s state railway under a three year concession signed on August 4, but UTY had been waiting for formal safety approval before starting commercial operation.

                          Forming an end-on extension of UTY’s cross-border spur via the Friendship Bridge over the Amu Darya River at Hairatan, the line to Mazar-i-Sharif was built by UTY under a deal with the Asian Development Bank signed in 2009. ADB contributed US$165m towards the estimated cost, with the rest raised locally. The Afghan parliament voted in October 2011 to provide a local contribution of US$20m.
                          Hairatan-Uzbekistan Rail Project - Railway Technology

                          Uzbek-Afghan railway to start running in July - Central Asia Online
                          Iran, Afghanistan and Washington's South Asia Dilemma |
                          Andkhoy « Railways of Afghanistan

                          Afghan railway ambitions awarded funding - Railway Gazette
                          AFGHANISTAN: Plans for east–west and north–south railways are making progress, with Asian Development Bank approving a US$754m multi-tranche package of transport assistance in September. As well as road rehabilitation this includes around US$300m for the extension of the recently-completed 75 km Hayratan – Mazar-i-Sharif railway 225 km west to Andkhoy.

                          The Afghan Infrastructure Trust Fund is providing US$33m, and Japan and the UK are also contributing; further sources of funding are anticipated. The line is likely to be 1520 mm gauge, and construction could begin in 2013. Unlike the previous project, work will be tendered rather than awarded directly to Uzbek railway UTY. Turkmenistan is separately developing plans for a cross-border link to Andkhoy, and the lines could eventually be extended to Herat.
                          Thus far out of everything that was signed and agreed upon only the Uzbek rail was finished and is now operational. My guess is they will try to expand it into Turkmenistan after Andkhoy for economic/ethnic impetus tradewise to link up regions.
                          Originally from Sochi, Russia.