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Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal has said that railways transportation is a critical element of connectivity between Pakistan and China, adding that the implementation of railways projects would have a tremendous impact on socio-economic development of the region. The Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique together with Federal Minister of Planning Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal leading the delegation of Pakistan’s Railways Ministry to China met with the Administrator of the Chinese National Railways Administration(NRA) Mr Lu Dongfu Monday evening in Beijing. The Federal Railways Minister Saad Rafique during the meeting, discussed cooperation between the two countries in railways focusing particularly on the ML1 Karachi-Peshawar railway project. He expressed the hope that the project would be pursued on a fast-track and meet the timelines with bullet train speed. He said that the railway network project formed the backbone of CPEC communications infrastructure projects and was of particular significance to regional connectivity. During the meeting both sides expressed satisfaction over cooperation in railways projects including the ML1 (Karachi-Peshawar) railway project underway between Pakistan and China and discussed ways of its speedier implementation. Lu Dongfu said that CPEC had made significant progress and friendship between the two countries provided the essential strength to overcome potential obstacles. Playing key role in economic connectivity, CPEC would change the dynamics of economic development in the region, he added. He expressed the confidence that work on the railway projects was being steered in a very friendly way. He said that both countries shared the vision for developing effective railway system from Kashghar to Gwadar which would provide a cost competitive mode of transportation and instant connectivity to China for transportation of goods, he said emphasizing the importance of timely commencement of railways projects. The Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal during the meeting said that CPEC projects were on ground and ahead on implementation.. He said that the Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif regularly and personally monitored progress and most of energy and highway projects would be completed around the end of next year. The meeting was attended by Ambasador Masood Khalid and Senior officers of Pakistan’s Railways Ministry as well as senior officers from the Chinese NRA. This was the second senior level meeting of NRA and Ministry of Railways of Pakistan.

 

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