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KARACHI: Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday said that Pakistan was compelled to go to the Inter­national Monetary Fund for the sake of a better economy in future, despite the fact the IMF’s conditions would be immensely stiff to bear with.

“We are trapped in a host of crises right now. Ever­yone knows that the IMF’s conditions will be really hard and as a minister, I have been saying that we have no option but to approach the IMF for assistance,” he said at a meeting held at the Kar­a­chi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr Ahmed said economic stability could not be achieved without political stability.

Regarding the Karachi Circular Railway, the minister promised Pakistan Railways would remove all encroachments from its track as soon as the Sindh government signed an agreement and approved the design and feasibility. He added that many commercial encroa­chments had already been removed, and the track had been handed over to the Sindh government. How­ever, it was the Sindh government which had to do its work, he added.

Mr Ahmed said the KCR was an important project that had become part of the China-Pakistan Econo­mic Corridor. He invited the business community to undertake a joint venture for setting up the proposed parking plaza on the Railways land at I.I. Chundrigar Road.

Referring to 1,760km-long ML-1 project from Karachi to Peshawar, the minister said Prime Mini­ster Imran Khan would be signing an agreement on April 27 for a new dual carriageway between the two cities with fencing on both sides.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2019