Pakistan Railways expanding CPEC scope to explore ‘Gateway of Prosperity

Islamabad: Pakistan Railways (PR) is expanding the scope of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to explore the ‘Gateway of Prosperity’ for both countries and the region at large through the advancement of the Railways sector.

There were also new projects launched such as Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway (M-6), Peshawar-Dera Ismail Khan Motorway (M-14), Karakoram Highway (KKH) Alternate Route (Gilgit-Shandor-Chitral), Swat Expressway (Phase-II), Dir Expressway, and Karachi Circular Railways.

The department considered CPEC as a long-term development project as it has the potential to serve as a corridor with multiple doors connecting China with Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, said a PR official circular on Tuesday afternoon.

It added that the Chinese and Pakistani workforce, in a large number, was employed to ensure timely completion of the infrastructure projects.

Pakistan Railways was providing one of the key modes of transport in the public sector which promoted national integration and economic growth, it added.

Pakistan Railways comprised a total of 466 locomotives for a 7,791 km long route. During July-March FY2022, the gross earnings of railways were recorded at Rs 43.73 billion, the circular added.

The modern transportation and communication system was one of the key inputs for achieving sustainable economic growth, the document said.

“A network of roads, highways, motorways, seaports, and airlines in a country makes it a center of economic activity by attracting investment, raising productivity, and reducing the cost of doing business,” it mentioned.

The government was committed to upgrading the transportation and communication system with the development of new roads, highways motorways, railway tracks, and airports to improve connectivity under CPEC, stated the document.

The CPEC is a pragmatic step for converting the unique geo-strategic location of Pakistan into geo-economics through various transport-related projects that would transform the road infrastructure of Pakistan and improve access to Central Asian, African, and European states, it concluded.