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Pakistan to resume rail service with Iran city
Publication Date : 06-07-2012
Pakistan has assured that it will resume the rail service between Quetta and Iraninan border city of Taftan on July 15 to bolster the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) train transit routes.
During the 11th meeting of the heads of ECO railway authorities held recently in Ankara, Pakistan Railways general manager Junaid Qureshi said that Islamabad-Istanbul rail route was unoperational due to shortage of engines on Pakistani side.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey reaffirmed to enhance the existing state of rail and road infrastructure connecting these countries and help reduce travel time of cargo across the ECO region.
It was also agreed by the representative of both the public and private sectors of the ECO states that without upgrading the Quetta-Taftan rail track, the link could not be properly maintained.
Islamic Development Bank asked for technical details from the government of Pakistan to finalise funding of projects related to rail and road infrastructure.
Pakistan-Turkey Business Council chairman Amjad Rafi represented Pakistan’s private sector.
He stressed that greater links between representatives of business community from the three countries would help safeguard interests of private sector. It was also pointed out that the current running time of the train had increased from 14 days to 18 days. Pakistan was requested to curtail the running time which was longest in Pakistan’s territory.
The second ECO regional conference on Road Transit Development and TIR conventions were also held side by side in Istanbul.
Pakistan was represented by Communications Secretary Anwar Ahmed Khan and Amjad Rafi.
Sources privy to the meetings said that the most important outcome of the meeting was Pakistan’s consent to accede to the TIR convention.
As a result of this, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey agreed to launch pilot road corridor project between the three countries with the assistance of IRU.
It was noted that road route would help reduce travel time for goods cargo from the current 30 days (by sea) to eight days.