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Sheikh Rashid calls on PM Khan

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at his Parliament House chamber in Islamabad.

Matters pertaining to Pakistan Railways came under discussion during the meeting between them.

A day earlier, the railways minister said that the cost of Pakistan Railways’ (PR) ML-1 project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been cut by $2 billion.

The mega project to revamp the colonial-era line stretching 1,872 km (1,163 miles) from Karachi to the northwestern city of Peshawar was initially priced at $8.2 billion, but wrangling over costs has led to delays.

The changes are part of Islamabad’s efforts to rethink key Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects in Pakistan, where Beijing has pledged about $60 billion in financing but the new government of Prime Minister Imran Khan appears to be more cautious about the Chinese investment.

“Pakistan is a poor country that cannot afford huge burden of the loans,” Rashid told a news conference in the city of Lahore.

“Therefore, we have reduced the loan from China under CPEC for rail projects from $8.2 billion to $6.2 billion,” he added, referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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