ML-1 Project is the backbone of CPEC: President PCJCCI
Moazzam Ali Ghurki, President Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) stressed upon the ML-1 project for the construction of the Karachi to Peshawar rail line link, which was considered to be the backbone of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and remained neglected in the past, during an executive body meeting held today at PCJCCI Secretariat. He said that the CPEC is a corridor linking Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea with Kashgar in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which highlights energy, transport and industrial cooperation. He added that this project involves upgrading a 1,163-mile, colonial-era track from Karachi to Peshawar to carry high-speed trains.
Fang Yulong, Senior Vice President PCJCCI highlighted that Pakistan has agreed to increase the cost of ML-1 from $6.8 billion to $9.85 billion, on the demand of Chinese negotiators, who termed the former cost figure as unrealistic. But the best part is that the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the $10 billion Mainline-I project of Pakistan Railways.
Hamza Khalid, Vice President PCJCCI shared that this project is one of the mega projects of CPEC because it can be expected to eventually be part of an extended CPEC reach into Jalabad and Afghanistan itself and would ultimately provide rail links from the Afghanistan capital Kabul to the Indian Ocean, greatly enhancing its ability to engage in global trade. China has already indicated it is ready to invest in Afghanistan by funding additional railways extending from Uzbekistan to Kabul and from Iran to Herat. On the other hand, if we don’t start the ML-I project immediately, the mainline of Pakistan Railways will likely collapse within a short span of time.
Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI said that China has again proved that our friendship is beyond the skies by approving 90 percent of finances for the project which will be provided by the Chinese government [through the government concessional loan] while the remaining amount will be shared by us. I hope that this project will help in enhancing multilateral trade relations in near future.
Press Clipping Reports