The Welcome to Afghanistan sign at Hairatan in northern Afghanistan
|Elevation||1,000 ft (300 m)|
|Time zone||+ 4.30|
Hairatan (Uzbek Cyrillic: Ғайратан, Uzbek Latin: Gʻayratan) is a border town and a port in the north of Balkh province, Afghanistan. It sits along the Amu Darya river in the Kaldar district of Balkh province. The river forms the border with neighboring Uzbekistan, and the two nations are connected by the Afghanistan–Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge. The city of Termez in Uzbekistan is close to Hairatan. The altitude of Hairatan is 300m. Hairatan became one of the major transporting, shipping, and receiving location for Afghanistan.
The Amu Darya region has been important in the history of civilizations from the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex, and the area around Hairatan was important during early Indo-Iranian migration by the Andronovo culture. In the early 1990s, Hairatan was the location of the 70th Division of General Abdul Momen, who was loosely aligned with Abdul Rashid Dostum's National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan. After Momen's death by an RPG missile attack on 5 January 1994, the 70th Division split and Dostam loyalist Colonel General Helaluddin took command.
After the removal of the Taliban government and the establishment of the Karzai administration, the town became an important strategic location for the new government. The new NATO-trained Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) established bases to provide security and maintain border activities. The Afghan Border Police (ABP) are in charge of protecting the border while the Afghan National Customs regulate and monitor all trade activities. They are backed by the Afghan Armed Forces and members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
A freight terminal in Hairatan is the terminus of one of three rail lines in Afghanistan - a 10 km link to Termez. On January 22, 2010, the construction was started of a 75 km rail link from Hairatan to a terminal at Gur-e Mar near the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, one of the major Afghan commercial centers. The project, part of the transport strategy and action plan of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program, was contractually scheduled for completion by June 2011, but was complete ahead of schedule, in November 2010.
On May 25, 2010, U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, the president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Afghan Minister of Finance, Minister of Mines, Minister of Transportation and Civil Aviation, and fellow Ambassadors from Japan, Finland, and Uzbekistan attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony inaugurating the Hairatan Rail Line. The United States and Japan are the two largest shareholders in ADB. The grant of the ADB covers 97% of the total project cost of $170 million, with the Afghan Government contributing $5 million. This rail link is the first phase of a larger rail network planned for the country, including further links to Iran via a line to Herat in the west and to Tajikistan via a line to Shir Khan Bandar in the northeast. These future lines will create a rail corridor through north Afghanistan and enable freight coming from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to reach Persian Gulf ports on rail, avoiding the need to pass through Turkmenistan.
The Amu Darya is a major river in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Rising in the Pamir Mountains, north of the Hindu Kush, the Amu Darya is formed by the confluence of the Vakhsh and Panj rivers, in the Tigrovaya Balka Nature Reserve on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and flows from there north-westwards into the southern remnants of the Aral Sea. In its upper course, the river forms part of Afghanistan's northern border with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. In ancient history, the river was regarded as the boundary of Greater Iran with "Turan", which roughly corresponded to present-day Central Asia.
Mazār-i-Sharīf, also called Mazār-e Sharīf, or just Mazar, is the fourth-largest city of Afghanistan, with a 2015 UN–Habitat population estimate 427,600. It is the capital of Balkh province and is linked by highways with Kunduz in the east, Kabul in the southeast, Herat in the southwest and Termez in Uzbekistan in the north. It is about 55 km (34 mi) from the Uzbek border. The city also serves as one of the many tourist attractions because of its famous shrines as well as the Islamic and Hellenistic archeological sites. The ancient city of Balkh is also nearby.
Transport in Afghanistan has steadily improved in the last decade. Much of the nation's road network was built during the 1960s but left to ruin during the 1980s and 90s wars. New national highways, roads, and bridges have been rebuilt in the last decade to help increase travel as well as trade with neighboring countries. In 2008, there were about 700,000 vehicles registered in Kabul.
As of 2007, Uzbekistan's overland transportation infrastructure declined significantly in the post-Soviet era due to low investment and poor maintenance. Air transport was the only branch that received substantial government investment in the early 2000s, as airport modernization projects were undertaken. In the following years, improvements have been made to the surface transport network including the construction of the Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line.
Balkh is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the north of the country. It is divided into 15 districts and has a population of about 1,245,100, which is multi-ethnic and mostly a Persian-speaking society. The city of Mazar-i-Sharif serves as the capital of the province. The Mazar-e Sharif International Airport and Camp Marmal sit on the eastern edge of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Faryab is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, which is located in the north of the country bordering neighboring Turkmenistan. It has a population of about 948,000, which is multi-ethnic and mostly a tribal society. The province encompasses 15 districts and over 1,000 villages. The capital of Faryab province is Maymana. It also borders Jowzjan Province, Sar-e Pol Province, Ghor Province and Badghis Province.
Termez is a city in the southernmost part of Uzbekistan near the Hairatan border crossing of Afghanistan. It is the hottest point of Uzbekistan. It has a population of 140,404, and is the capital of Surxondaryo Region.
The Afghanistan–Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge is a road and rail bridge across the river Amu Darya, connecting the town of Hairatan in the northern Balkh province of Afghanistan with Termez in the Surxondaryo Region of Uzbekistan. The bridge was built by the Soviet Union and opened in 1982 to supply its forces who were based in Afghanistan at the time. It is used today for trade and travel purposes between the two countries.
Shortepa also Shor Tappeh is one of the 15 districts of Balkh province. Shortepa, a small district in Balkh Province, Afghanistan. It is situated along the Amu Darya river, across the border with Termez, Uzbekistan, and to the east Kaldar. The main village is Shor Tappeh, A at 274 m altitude.
Afghanistan has three railroad lines in the north of the country. The first is between Mazar-i-Sharif and the border town of Hairatan in Balkh province, which then connects with Uzbek Railways of Uzbekistan. The second links Torghundi in Herat province with Turkmen Railways of Turkmenistan. The third is between Turkmenistan and Aqina in Faryab province of Afghanistan, which extends south to the city of Andkhoy. The country currently lacks a passenger rail service, but a new rail link from Herat to Khaf in Iran for both cargo and passengers was recently completed. Passenger service is also proposed in Hairatan - Mazar-i-Sharif section and Mazar-i-Sharif - Aqina section.
Gur-e Mar is a village in Balkh Province in northern Afghanistan.
Köýtendag is a city and the administrative center of Köýtendag District in Lebap Province, Turkmenistan. On 29 December 1999, by Parliamentary Resolution No. HM-61, the city and district of Çarşaňňy were renamed Köýtendag. On 27 July 2016, by Parliamentary Resolution No. 425-V the town of Köýtendag was upgraded in status to "city in a district".
Rail transport in Uzbekistan. As of March 2017, the total length of Uzbekistan's main railway network is 4,669 km. A large percentage of the system’s track requires major repair. The main line is the portion of the Transcaspian Railroad that connects Tashkent with the Amu Darya. There are rail links with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Suburban traffic only exists around Tashkent.
Turkmenistan has 4,980 kilometres (3,090 mi) of railways. The railway operator is the state owned company Türkmendemirýollary. The company belongs to the Ministry of Railways of Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is currently expanding its rail system to cover 5,256.25 kilometres (3,266.08 mi) more distance, which will take its network to 10,236.25 kilometres (6,360.51 mi) track kilometres by 2025.
Asian Highway 76 (AH76) is a major road of northern Afghanistan. It connects Pole khomri at AH7 to Mazar-i-Sharif, passing through Samangan on the way, and then passes west and eventually ends at Herat, where it unites with AH1 and AH77 At Mazar-e-Sharif the road continues and joins the A01 and AH77 highways. Another road passes north from the A76 and connects it to Termiz in southern Uzbekistan. Note though that this "other road" is often regarded as a continuation of the A76, although it is actually part of the historical Pamir Highway, now known as the M41 highway (AH62). This road links Mazar-i-Sharif across the Amu Darya river, to Termiz. The Pamir Highway or the M41 is an extremely important highway of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which connects Termiz to Kara Balta to the west of Bishkek and links with the M39 highway twice at both cities.
The Afghanistan-Uzbekistan border is 144 km (89 mi) in length and runs from the tripoint with Turkmenistan to the tripoint with Tajikistan along the Amu Darya river. It is by far the shortest of Uzbekistan's external borders.
Asian Highway 62 (AH62) is an international route running 2,105 kilometres (1,308 mi) from Petropavlovsk in Kazakhstan to Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan. This international highway transits Uzbekistan also.
The Red Army intervention in Afghanistan in 1929 was a special operation aimed at supporting the ousted king of Afghanistan, Amanullah Khan against the Saqqawists and Basmachi.
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