Pak Turkey train service between Pakistan, Turkey, and Iran, which was re-established yesterday after a 10-year hiatus, can complete the journey between the three countries in about 14 days, making it significantly faster and less expensive than the alternative sea route, which takes approximately 30 days.
According to Anadolu Agency, the Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad (ITI) cargo train was launched in 2009 but was later halted in 2011 due to a series of delays, which led to its suspension.
Azam Swati, the Minister for Railways, on Tuesday, dispatched the new ITI cargo train, which carried dozens of containers from Islamabad’s Margallah station to the continent’s largest metropolis.
This project will span a distance of 1,990 kilometers (1,235 miles) within Pakistan before crossing the Taftan border into Iran for a distance of 2,603 kilometers (1,620 kilometers).
According to Anadolu Agency, the train will travel about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) through Turkey, passing through the capital Ankara before reaching its final destination, Istanbul.
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ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization) is a 10-member regional cooperation bloc that was created in 1964 as the Regional Cooperation for Development and renamed ECO in 1985. Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran were among the founding members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
On February 20, 2020, a ministerial conference of the Economic Cooperation Organization member states decided to restart the ITI cargo train service.
In a statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi hailed the “historic” achievement as a step forward that will open up new opportunities for commerce and business in the region and around the world.
Swati stated that the cargo train would improve contacts among the ECO member countries, hence strengthening regional communications and trade relations.