Islamabad (Web Desk): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday expressed confidence that Pakistan would conclude a deal with International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month in a bid to overcome the financial challenges.
Addressing here at the inaugural ceremony of the Green Line train service between Islamabad and Karachi, the premier said the headway in talks with IMF would help the country address the current economic situation.
The IMF delegation will be visiting Islamabad from January 31 to February 9 to continue discussions regarding the ninth review of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
PM Shehbaz emphasized the adoption of austerity at a massive scale to tackle difficult economic problems.
He said the government had set its priority keeping in view its foreign exchange reserves, thus allowing the import of medicine and food as essential items.
“Courageous nations stand united while braving the challenges with resilience,” the premier asserted.
Shehbaz Sharif expressed confidence that with dedication and commitment, the country would soon regain its glory.
He regretted that the Green Line project, which was initiated during the tenure of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was delayed by the previous government in a mala fide.
PM Shehbaz endorsed the concept of outsourcing Pakistan Railways to make it better equipped and at par with contemporary services.
He said Main Line-1 (ML-1) railway track was a top priority for the government and mentioned that China was committed to its early completion.
The prime minister pointed out that the previous government indulged in baseless accusations of corruption against Chinese companies, and stressed that the coalition government was working on restoring the ties.
The Green Line Train service comprising modern coaches imported from China was launched from the Margalla train station, Islamabad.
The prime minister visited various coaches of the train and appreciated the services provided for the travellers to make their journey comfortable.
The train will have stops at the stations at Rawalpindi, Chaklala, Lahore, Khanewal, Bahawalpur, Rohri, Hyderabad and Drigh Road, Karachi stations.
The turnaround time of the new is set at 22 hours, which will be reduced gradually.
On this ocassion, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq said the ticket would cover breakfast, lunch, hi-tea, and dinner besides wifi. Apart from this, he said, high-quality bedding and utility kits will also be provided to the passengers.
He said around 2,200 passengers would benefit from the train service to be run between Islamabad to Karachi.
The minister said Pakistan Railways would formulate rules for the approval of the cabinet in the next few days regarding the collection of revenue from its land.