Islamabad: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Wednesday said the Main Line (ML-1) railway project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would prove a favourable transit route for countries in the region. The prime minister vowed to complete ML-1 on a priority basis, saying the project would also improve connectivity between the country’s seaports with its economic zones.
Chairing a meeting to discuss ML-1 here at the PM House, the prime minister said the project would contribute to the improvement of communication network in the country. PM Kakar said there existed huge potential for foreign investment in Pakistan Railways and stressed the need for early materialization of its projects. He stressed meeting the targets of the project within stipulated time and directed the formulation of a comprehensive reform strategy for Pakistan Railways to maximize the benefits of the ML-1.
Emphasizing transparency in the implementation of ML-1, he said, the project would result in the creation of new employment opportunities and reduced travel time and freight rates. The meeting was told that the ML-1 project was in its final stage of modalities and its ground-breaking would be performed by early next year. The project will be completed in two phases. In the first phase, a 930-kilometre-long rail track will be laid from Karachi to Multan. Also, the railway infrastructure damaged by the 2022 flood will be upgraded as per international standards. In the next phase, the 796-kilometre-long rail track from Multan to Peshawar will be laid in line with the requirements of the future. The meeting was attended by caretaker federal ministers including Shamshad Akhtar and Sami Saeed, PM’s Adviser Ahad Khan, PM’s Special Assistant Jahanzeb Khan, and senior officials of the ministries concerned.