QUETTA: Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the government has planned to link Gwadar port with Quetta through railway to cater to future economic activities of the port city.
Talking to reporters after his arrival here on a two-day visit, he said: “It is my desire to link Gwadar port with Quetta through railway to provide better trade and business route in future.” Gwadar had great importance for the economic development of the country as there was no such port in the entire world, he added.
The minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China was very important, adding that during the visit new projects linked to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be discussed. He said railways could boost the country’s economy and a Quetta-Gwadar rail link would be beneficial for the CPEC.
He said efforts were under way to rehabilitate Pakistan Railways. He alleged that the railways had been destroyed by the PML-N government. He claimed that former minister for planning and development Ahsan Iqbal had wasted Rs43 billion on different railway stations and majority of them had no commercial value.
The minister said that he was giving attention to running goods trains to increase the income of railways because passenger trains could not earn profit. “Five goods trains could be given to the private sector if railways itself could not earn profit from them,” Mr Ahmed said.
He said that without developing railways the country’s economy could not progress.
The government had decided to improve railway tracks throughout the country and initial survey of tracks had been completed, he added.
Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2018
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