News ID: 240007
Published: 0354 GMT March 09, 2019

Iran, Turkey offer cooperation for Pakistan railway: Minister

Iran, Turkey offer cooperation for Pakistan railway: Minister

Pakistani Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that Iran and Turkey have offered cooperation for upgrading Pakistan Railways.

Talking to the media in Lahore on Saturday, he said the coming time will be a golden era for Pakistan Railways, TNS World reported.

The minister said that he had already discussed the issues of Sir Syed Express and Jinnah Express with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said that Imran Khan will inaugurate Jinnah Express on March 30.

On February 22, Ahmad said that the Quetta-Taftan-Zahedan railway line will be modernized in an accelerated mode.

Ahmad announced the above during a meeting with Iran's Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoust in Islamabad.

The minister said that cooperation in improving the Pakistan-Iran railway network will meet the mutual interests of both countries.

The Quetta-Taftan railway route is one of the four main railway routes in Pakistan, operated and maintained by the Pakistan Railways.

The total length of this railway line is 325 kilometers. There are 23 railway stations from Quetta to Taftan. The line then crosses into Iran and extends to Zahedan.

Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan after its independence.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in August 1947.

Director General of Economic Evaluation Office at the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development of Iran Mohsen Sadeqi discussed the improvement of the railway connection between Iran and neighboring countries in an interview with Trend News Agency las month.

“Iran has signed many contracts with international organizations that include neighbors and other countries,” he said.

“For example Iran is part of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) and Asian Highway (AH), where all the countries from Asia and Pacific have identified their railways and their roles in transit,” said Sadeqi.

He further stated that while the railway’s primary function is for domestic use, the international cargo transit is also very important, and would bring revenues to Iran.

“In this regard, Iran has signed agreements with ESCAP project and these projects are being launched, and the annual report will be send to the ESCAP,” he said.

Sadeqi said Iran held discussions with the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) regarding new roads and railways for Iran’s connection to Europe.

Referring to Iran's connection to Europe via a railway, he said that the Islamic Republic is connected to Europe via the Kapikoy/Razi border but Turkey does not have a railway for crossing the Van Lake. Thus, Azerbaijan was chosen, and the Rasht-Anzali-Astara railway was launched.

"The railway will extend to Astara in Azerbaijan and if the project becomes operational, it would connect to the International North-South Transport Corridor, where Iran can transport cargo from the southern port of Shahid Rajaei to Astara and Azerbaijan and then to Europe," he added.

“The other issue is the Kermanshah-Khosravi railway that would be effective in passenger transportation to Iraq; for cargo transfer, Iran is focusing on Shalamcheh-Basra railway. There are no problems on Iran’s side, but there are on the Iraqi side, and they’re being solved.”

Sadeqi also spoke about the Khaf (Iran)-Herat (Afghanistan) project, noting Iran had completed its side, and work should continue on Afghanistan’s side.

“Iran is responsible regarding its railway connections, and those unfinished projects take priority. The potential of neighboring countries should also be used. Building infrastructure is not enough; negotiations with the chambers of commerce would also help transit,” said the official.


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