Aug 12, 2020, 7:35 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83905489
1 Persons


Pakistan to take advantage of Iran-China long term cooperation: Railways Minister

Islamabad, Aug 12, IRNA -- Pakistan's Minister for Railways appreciated a 25-year Iran-China Strategic Plan and said that Pakistan will take full advantage of the long-term plan to enhance mutual cooperation with Iran, especially in the railway sector.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, 69, who is also a senior member of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Cabinet made the remarks in an exclusive interview with IRNA correspondent on Wednesday.

He said Pakistan wants to upgrade the Quetta-Taftan railway track so that the speed of the trains could be improved to enhance "our exports and movement of passengers".

"During my recent meeting with Iranian Ambassador Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini we mainly discussed railway cooperation between the two countries," he said.

The minister added that "we have formed a committee headed by the Secretary of Pakistan Railways to look after the matters with Iran in the railway sector".

“We want to run our train to Taftan with a speed of 160 km per hour,” he desired.

Rashid added that the contract for the survey of the up-gradation of Quetta-Taftan Rail Track has been awarded to a Chinese company in December 2017 and the work completed in June 2019, so "we have already completed our survey between Quetta and Taftan".

He went on to say that according to the survey the passenger train can reach the speed of 120 km and freight train can be run with the speed of 70 km per hour and estimated cost of the up-gradation work is 700 million rupees.

"This is the main thing which I have discussed with the Iranian ambassador as we want the Quetta-Taftan railway road to be improved," he said.

Expressing his views, the minister said Quetta-Taftan railway track is very old and needs urgent up-gradation so that the train could be run on high speed. The official said that currently Pakistan’s freight train only runs between Quetta to Taftan.

He said under China-Iran cooperation and CPEC we can improve our rail track.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that ML1 is 1780 km of Pakistan’s main railway track from Peshawar to Karachi which will be upgraded under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said the $6.2 billion project would allow trains to run at a speed of 160 kilometres per hour.

“This project is the new life of Pakistan railways, which will be tendered on the 30th of August,” he said.

He said that "we can also expedite efforts regarding Pakistan-Iran-Turkey freight train under Economic Coordination Organization but first we want for fast enhanced cooperation with Iran in railway sector".

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that the Iran-China Strategic Plan is a positive development and we appreciate it. "That is a very good thing and under that umbrella, we can improve our railway line also," he said.

The minister said that there should be no unilateral sanctions on Iran as Prime Minister Imran Khan has already stated. “This is our official policy that these sanctions must be lifted from Iran especially in the current situation,” noted Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.


Follow us on Twitter @IrnaEnglish

Related News

Your Comment

You are replying to: .