A freight train service connecting Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, which had been suspended for more than 10 years, has been relaunched to improve regional connectivity and unlock trade potential between the three countries, media said on Wednesday. . The three countries also plan to launch a passenger train service on the same route in the future. Minister of Railways Azam Khan Swati, along with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Prime Minister’s Trade Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, on Tuesday inaugurated the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) freight train at the Margalla station. The ambassadors of Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were also present on the occasion. The ITI freight train, which will run every Tuesday, has started its journey from Margalla Station in Islamabad to its first destination in Zahedan, Iran, from where it will head to Istanbul, a senior railways official said. iron. The first train from Islamabad to Istanbul was inaugurated on August 14, 2009. Meanwhile, the first shipment from Istanbul arrived in Islamabad on August 13, 2010, according to Pakistani Railways. So far, eight trains have been sent from Pakistan to Turkey, the last one leaving Lahore on November 5, 2011. Since the launch of this service in 2009, Turkey has sent six trains to Pakistan, the last of which was unloaded here on December 9. , 2011. The freight train, with a transport capacity of up to 80,000 tonnes of goods, has left for Europe’s largest city with a dozen containers, and will complete the journey in about two weeks, which makes it a faster and more economically viable option than a sea route, according to the Express Tribune report. It will cover 1,990 kilometers in Pakistan, before crossing the Taftan border for a section of 2,603 kilometers in Iran. The train will then travel around 1,850 kilometers through Turkey, before reaching its final stop in Istanbul, according to the report. The service will play a vital role in improving the economies and lives of citizens of CEE member states by maximizing economic efficiency and lowering the cost of doing business, The Dawn newspaper said. At Tuesday’s ceremony in Islamabad, Qureshi hailed the “historic” development as a step that would open new avenues for trade and business in the region and beyond. The Minister of Railways echoed Qureshi’s sentiments, adding, “The passenger train service will also start soon. We have opened our trade routes and this is a great opportunity for importers and exporters. Dawood said regional connectivity was one of the very important pillars of Pakistan’s strategic trade policy framework and that it was encouraging to see the resumption of ITI freight train operations.
Turkish Ambassador Mustafa Yurdakul expressed hope that the rail service would not stop in Istanbul, but would go all the way to Europe, benefiting all countries in the region to help bounce back with these routes in the post era. COVID-19.
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