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Pakistan considering railway corridor to India: Minister

world Updated: Mar 23, 2010 22:16 IST

Pakistan is considering offering a railway corridor to link India to Central Asia and Europe as part of efforts to boost regional cooperation and trade.

Pakistan's Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said that he would soon submit the proposal on this issue to the Cabinet for approval.

"We had got a letter from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) which told us that India and Bangladesh were interested in getting a railway corridor through Pakistan to Central Asia and Europe," Bilour told PTI.

"The matter has been discussed at secretary level but so far the railways ministry has made no official submission to the government," Bilour said.

"The SAARC body wants to promote and expand trade ties in this region and we need to support it," he said.

"I will tell the Cabinet that in order to improve our economy we need to facilitate trade corridors with India and other SAARC countries," he added.

The veteran Awami National Party leader said he supports the railway corridor to India as it will help in improving and increasing trade ties with New Delhi and other SAARC countries.

Bilour said he is confident that Pakistan could become a big trade market in the region specially due to its ability to provide railway corridors to central Asian states.

"We need to look at things realistically and the fact is that Pakistan needs business and trade to become a big market and boost its economy. We have fought three wars with India and achieved nothing and now we should think about making ourselves economically strong," the Minister said.

He pointed out that Singapore despite having no agricultural or trade background had a economy that was 10 times stronger than Pakistan's economy.