Massive investment coming into railway sector for first time: PM Imran
Says ML-1 rail project to ensure huge economic activity in country
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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that for the first time in Pakistan’s history massive investment is coming into the railway projects and the Main Line-1 network would ensure massive economic activity in the country besides creating job opportunities, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
“For the first time, Pakistan is undergoing huge development in the railway sector in the shape of Main Line-1 project being implemented in collaboration with China,” Imran said.
Addressing the upgradation ceremony of Hassanabdal railway station, first built during the British rule 127 years ago, the prime minister said the railway was an important part of his vision of Naya Pakistan because of its affordable mode of travel for the common man.
Unfortunately, he said, the British infrastructure of the rail network of 1861 the country inherited at the time of partition was cut down instead of expansion. He said the government got a significant reduction in the cost of the project from $9 billion to $6 billion after negotiations with China.
Imran said with the construction of under-passes, bridges and gates, the ML-1 project would reduce the distance between Karachi to Lahore to mere seven hours. He said ML-1 would significantly contribute to economic activity with the transformation the existing structure into modern railways, creation of job opportunities and ease-of-doing business.
“I want Pakistan to become self-reliant with increased economic activity,” he said and added under the vision of Naya Pakistan all citizens regardless of their religions had equal rights to practise their faith.
He said the upgradation of Hassanabdal railway station, which was at a close distance from Gurdwara Punjab Sahib, would facilitate the Sikh pilgrims. He mentioned that the railways station at Narowal would also help the easy and affordable movement of Sikh community.
The prime minister said Pakistan had the potential of becoming a great tourist attraction for Hindus and Buddhists from all over the world. He gave a reference of a renowned international magazine Conde Nast Traveller that ranked Pakistan as best tourist destination in future.
He said the government was also focusing on easing up the visa system for tourism development.
Imran lauded Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid for his efforts towards upgradation of rail system in the country.