Pakistan, China sign Second Phase of FTA & ML-1 Railway-line agreement

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Pakistan, China sign Second Phase of FTA & ML-1 Railway-line agreement

Pakistan and China have agreed to upgrade ML-1 railway track from Peshawar to Karachi.

An agreement to this effect was signed between China and Pakistan in Beijing today [April].

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing signed the Declaration for Preliminary Design of ML-1, phase one.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang witnessed the signing ceremony.

Under the agreement, Pakistan's Railways and China's National Railway Administration will start construction work on this project.

Karachi ML-1 project will be completed in next five years under which an 1,872 kilometer long track from Peshawar to Karachi will be upgraded, along with fencing of rail trail and construction of bridges and crossings.

It will enhance trains' average speed up to 120 to 160 kilometers per hour, which at present is only 60 kilometers per hour.

It will reduce the travel time from Rawalpindi to Karachi to from 22 hours to ten hours.

The recent agreement is about first phase and preliminary cost of the complete project is about 8.2 bill dollars, to be completed in three phases.

The ML-1 project will alone create 20,000 direct and 1,50,000 indirect jobs.