Saad for Korea cooperation to make railways more swift, efficient

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways desires to have collaboration with Korean Railroad (KORAIL), especially in freight operations, to make the system more swift and efficient.

Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique expressed these views during a meeting with Korean delegation led by Ambassador, Jong Hwan Song here on Thursday.

He said KORAIL has contributed significantly in development of Railways in Korea as a progressive company and Pakistan would like to share the relevant information and technology with it to strengthen partnership between the two countries.

He also mentioned the collaboration with KORAIL in the past regarding 10 used locomotives and added Pakistan Railway has decided to run its freight operations independently to reduce its deficit on priority basis.

Acknowledging the interest of the Minister, the Ambassador said, “Pakistan and Korea could be good partners”,

Sharing personal experience of railway infrastructure in Korea, the Ambassador said 50 years ago the trains in his country took 10 hrs, which at times is preferred over air travel.

The Ambassador said “we should definitely cooperate in the sectors of railways”.

Proposing the idea with reference to Pakistan Railways he said that the distance between Islamabad-Karachi could be covered in 3 to 4 hrs.

In response to the views given by the Ambassador, the Minister expressed his strong desire to work with the Koreans.

“We want to get our locomotives rehabilitated and also desire to have new locomotives from the Korean Government on profit sharing basis,” he added.

The Minister welcomed KORAIL as well as other Korean companies to participate in tendering in Pakistan.

The Minister also outlined strategic importance of Quetta-Taftan Railway route, as it could serve as an easy link to Turkey and Eastern Europe.