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BEIJING, Sept 27 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Prof Ahsan Iqbal and Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique have discussed cooperation between China and Pakistan in railways focusing particularly on the ML1 Karachi-Peshawar railway project.

Both the ministers jointly leading the delegation of Pakistan’s Railways Ministry to China met with the Administrator of the Chinese National Railways Administration (NRA), Lu Dongfu on Monday evening.

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.

Saad Rafique expressed the hope that the project would be pursued on a fast-track and meet the timelines with bullet train speed.

He said the railway network project formed the backbone of CPEC communications infrastructure projects and was of particular significance to regional connectivity.

Lu Dongfu said 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 both the 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 Minister for Planning, Development and Reform said railways transportation was 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.

He said CPEC projects were on ground and ahead on implementation.

He said 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 Ambassador 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.