Pakistan Railways To Get Upgradation Under CPEC: Saad Rafique
ONBOARD PM’s SPECIAL AIRCRAFT, May 12 (APP): Minister for Railways Saad Rafique Friday said the flagship One Belt, One Road Forum (OBOR) would help Pakistan improve its connectivity sector, particularly railways.
The Railways minister who accompanied Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to participate in the OBOR forum termed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a game changing project to usher in a new era of prosperity in the country.
He said the OBOR vision of Chinese President Xi Jinping was a mega project aimed at developing a strong connectivity in the region, adding that the vision was joined by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif under the umbrella of CPEC.
Saad Rafique told APP that the railway track from Karachi upto Landikotal, Torkham would be upgraded and the speed of the trains on the route would be doubled from 80 to 160 kilometer per hour besides improvement in the signalling system.
He said the travel time by train from Lahore to Karachi would be reduced from 18 to 12 hours and from Lahore to Islamabad would be lessened to two hours.
He said Pakistan and China were expected to sign a new framework for the revival and upgradation of Main Line-1 (ML-1) from Karachi to Peshawar during the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s current visit to China.
To a question on four chief ministers of Punjab , Sindh, KP and Balochistan travelling along with the prime minister to participate in the OBOR forum, the minister said it was a clear message to international world that all political parties were united on matters of national importance.
“We are visiting China as Pakistanis and not as representatives of political parties,” he said, adding that such unity on national issues was the beauty and splendour of democracy.