Pakistan to Develop Rail Corridors for Trade with Iran, Afghanistan: Minister
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Pakistani Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said his country is deeply interested in laying modern rail tracks and renovating existing routes for direct and transit trade with Iran and Afghanistan.
Speaking in Islamabad on Wednesday, the minister said the Pakistani government considers rail tracks as trade corridors because these would play a vital role in boosting Pakistani exports and facilitate transit trade, according to local media reports.
The minister further stressed that the government is interested in an integrated locomotive service for boosting trade with neighboring countries.
"We will also establish a modern rail link from the Gwadar Port to upcountry and further to Afghanistan for the transit trade," the minister was quoted by the News International as saying.
Refurbishment of the existing rail infrastructure for trade with Iran is also under consideration, as trade ties with Iran are getting stronger, he added.
Iran and Pakistan signed six memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various areas during a recent visit to Islamabad by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Rouhani’s visit in late March was aimed particularly at boosting Tehran-Islamabad economic cooperation in the new atmosphere created by a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
The comprehensive nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14, 2015 and came into force on January 16, terminating all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran.