Deputies of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament) today unanimously voted for ratification of an agreement on construction of a new Tajik-Afghan bridge over the Panj River singed between the Government of Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Dushanbe on April 12, 2019.    

Presenting the agreement to lawmakers, the Frist Deputy Minister of Transport, Suhrob Mirzozoda, noted that the agreement provides for construction of the bridge across the Panj River that will consolidate permanent overland links between Tajikistan and Afghanistan in the Tajik southern Khatlon province.

The 180-meter bridge will connect the Kokul area in Khatlon’s Farkhor district and the Ai-Khanoum village in Takhar province, northern Afghanistan.

The project also provides construction of a 50 kilometer road from Vose district to Farkhor district.

The AKDN is implementing the project with attraction of investments from partners.  The European Union is financing the project through Germany’s KFW Development Bank and the Pakistan Afghanistan Tajikistan Regional Integration Program (PATRIP) Foundation  

PATRIP Foundation seeks to promote integration and enhance cross-border cooperation and exchange between Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan and Tajikistan.  The PATRIP Foundation aims to help stabilize the region by supporting its economic and social development, meeting challenges in the border regions with bi-national and multi-sectoral measures.  The PATRIP Foundation was set up in November 2011 by the German state-owned KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office.

To-date, seven bridges across the Panj River connecting Tajikistan and Afghanistan have been built consolidating permanent overland links between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.  Six of them, including five bridges in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) and another one in Khatlon’s Shamsiddin-Shohin district, have been built by the Aga Khan Development Network.  One more Tajik-Afghan bridge across the Panj River has been built in Khatlon province under financial support of the U.S. Government.