Being a landlocked country, Afghanistan is primarily dependent on
transit facilities from its neighbors for its international trade.
Lacking railways and with few navigable rivers, it relies on roads
as the mainstay of its transport system. These factors produce high
transport costs and also add to the difficulty of integrating the
transport system of the country with those of its neighbors. Nevertheless,
in the 1960s major efforts were directed toward upgrading the highway
system and connecting the main trading centers of the country with
one another, as well as with the railheads or road networks of neighboring
The road network of Afghanistan now connects railheads in Kushka,
Turkmenistan, and Termez, Uzbekistan, with those at Chaman and Peshawar,
Pak., respectively, and provides for direct overland transit between
the nations to the north and the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent. The
most important Afghan highways are those connecting Kabul with Shir
Khan, on the northern border, and with Peshawar. Other paved roads
link Qandahar, Herat, and Mazar-e Sharif with Kabul and with frontier
towns of Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Despite the rapid development of motor transport, camels and donkeys
are still commonly used as draft animals. In the countryside many
people have not abandoned their cherished horses, which are important
Civil aviation has increased in importance. Almost all provincial
centers have at least a seasonally operable airport, while there
are international airports at Kabul and Qandahar.
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