Pakistan to lay modern rail tracks for trade with Afghanistan, Iran

Published: May 12, 2016
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Eyes rail link from Gwadar to enhance trade with Afghanistan. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD AZEEM/ EXPRESS

Eyes rail link from Gwadar to enhance trade with Afghanistan. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD AZEEM/ EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is seriously considering laying modern rail tracks along with refurbishing existing railway routes for direct and transit trade with Afghanistan and Iran, said Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir.

During a meeting with a business delegation of South Africa, he said the government considered rail tracks as trade corridors as they would play a vital role in boosting Pakistan’s exports and facilitating transit trade.

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“We will also establish a modern rail link from Gwadar Port to the upcountry and further extend it to Afghanistan for transit trade,” he said, adding refurbishing of the existing rail infrastructure for trade with Iran was also under consideration as trade ties were getting stronger.

According to Dastgir, the government is utilising substantial resources to meet electricity needs of export industries and for that purpose, construction of power plants including the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant was under way at a fast pace.“We shall ensure a smooth supply of imported raw material to the Sahiwal plant through railways,” he added.

Furthermore, he told the delegation that Pakistan intended to initiate talks with South Africa for reaching a preferential trade agreement in a bid to increase the existing trade volume between the two countries.

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The South African delegation offered their support for the provision of funds, rail infrastructure development and services, technology transfer, training of human resource and logistics support for the supply of imported input to different projects.

The delegation was led by Willem Goosen of Grindrod Rail and Multi-Continent Investment Company. Ashfaq Anwar, a Pakistani businessman in South Africa, also accompanied them.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Ali S
    May 12, 2016 - 10:42AM

    Another ridiculous waste of money in the name of development. Fix the crumbling existing infrastructure first and then build new ones – otherwise it’s useless.Recommend

  • Asim Ali
    May 12, 2016 - 11:44AM

    Ever since i started reading the paper probably in the 80s, been reading about the same grandiose plans. The gentleman would be asked to clean the roads, get the beggars off the streets, provide electricity and fix the existing rail infrastructure. Why does this even make the headlinesRecommend

  • Naim Khan
    May 12, 2016 - 4:41PM

    Our railway tracks needs upgrading, railway infrastructure is there never has been looked at after 80’s,considering the population of the country we needed to invest in the railway, but no government did. We need railway tracks going city to city, town to town,, only London has more than 250 stations, it’s cheap to lay railway tracks than building a motorway, our corrupt governments has brought the railway to its knees, PMLN and PPP did the most damage to the railway. Recommend

  • brar
    May 12, 2016 - 6:21PM

    We inherited the same rail infrastructure , don,t know why the Pakistan rail is in shambles, the transport lobby here is also very powerful but still the Railways progressed, it is the cheapest mode of transport you can even travel without purchasing a ticket, good luck Pakistan railway.Recommend

  • SNKN
    May 12, 2016 - 8:56PM

    Thank you Brar ji for your good wishes for Pak Railway… The last three years have seen a turnaround of the Railways here.

    Indian Railway did not see such deterioration on the other hand and is a major mode of transport.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 12, 2016 - 9:34PM

    @brar:
    Pakistan is seriously considering laying modern rail tracks along with refurbishing existing railway routes for direct and transit trade with Afghanistan and Iran, said Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir. the modern

    You seem to have the knowledge of the Indian Railways, any idea what the modern rail tracks mean in Pakistan, considering that even the yankees do not have the modern rail racks?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • leela4fun
    May 13, 2016 - 2:00AM

    Pakistan should demand their all-weather friend China to provide them with High Speed Rail for the CPEC.Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    May 13, 2016 - 7:42AM

    Afghanistan? A place where Pakistani embassy staff is confined to Pakistani embassy and can not go out and live normal life because Afgani people will mob Pakistanis out of their “LOVE” of Pakistan.Recommend

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