More freight trains to run between India, Pakistan

June 21st, 2008 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, June 21 (IANS) Pakistan and India have decided to increase the frequency of cross-border freight trains to boost trade between the two countries. “We have agreed to increase goods containers from 60 to 150 and operate trains from both the countries on same days,” an official told IANS, following a three-day inter governmental railway meeting between the two neighbours earlier this week in India.

On their return to the country through Wagah border, the Pakistani delegation said they had very useful and successful talks with their Indian counterparts.

The railway officials of India and Pakistan hold this meeting every year to discuss operational matters. The last meeting was held in Pakistan in 2007.

“This was not any extraordinary meting but we have agreed to take some more steps to improve train service between the countries,” said director operations of Pakistan Railways Shafique Ullah Khan, who was heading the Pakistani delegation.

He said that in their meetings they discussed operational matters but the major focus was on the proposal to increase the frequency of freight trains to boost bilateral trade.

An increase in the capacity of the passenger trains running between the two countries on daily basis and extension of freight trains beyond Lahore and Amritsar was also on the agenda and “we agreed on it”, he said.

He said the two sides also discussed a proposal to run freight trains on the Jodhpur-Munabao-Khokrapar section and “there is a likelihood that the governments (of India and Pakistan) would soon agree to increase frequency of Thar Express, a passenger train”.

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