Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, along with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, inaugurated the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) freight train at Margalla railway station. Ambassadors of Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan were also present on the occasion.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan was focusing on geo-economics to implement its economic vision and for this purpose the promotion of regional connectivity was imperative.
Speaking as a chief guest at the inauguration ceremony here for the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul freight train, he said it was a historic and important occasion for three brotherly countries Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey.
Read more: Pakistan’s modern railways’ infrastructure project sent to Chinese Bank for approval of loan
He appreciated the Minister for Railways and his team for restarting the operations of the train.
The new train will link three important countries of the region, he added.
“Today our collective efforts are proving fruitful and through the rain link, we will enter a new era to take forward our trade.
“The freight train was reflective of our desire to increase cooperation and contacts in the region,” he added.
In accordance with PM @ImranKhanPTI vision of developing integrated transport network to facilitate trade, FM Railways @AzamKhanSwatiPk along with foreign minister @SMQureshiPTI and Advisor commerce @razak_dawood inaugurated Islamabad Tehran Istanbul Freight Train Service.(1/7) pic.twitter.com/4TtUQtDmqq
— Ministry of Railways, Govt of Pakistan (@RailwaysGovPk) December 21, 2021
Boosting economic cooperation with China, South Asia, and Europe
FM Qureshi said the freight train from Pakistan to Iran to Turkey will meet the needs for cargo and will also provide transit from China and South Asia to Europe.
“With the freight train, we can send goods to Central Asia, Europe, and beyond.”
He said economic and trade cooperation was necessary for long-term and sustainable progress.
Read more: From Geopolitics to Geo-economics: A policy shift from the policy makers of Pakistan
“We have to take concrete steps to increase our regional trade and economic cooperation. I believe that if we succeeded in benefiting from this project, it will prove to be a game-changer for the region.”
“We are also desirous of starting a passenger train service so that people to people contacts can be increased among the three countries and cultural affinity can be enhanced.”
Courtesy: APP with additional input by GVS