With China as sole Financier, Pak refuses ADB Loan for Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line

KARACHI: After China said it wanted to fund the USD eight billion Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line project in Pakistan single-handedly, Islamabad has refused part financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). “China strongly argued that two-sourced financing would create problems and the project would suffer,” the Dawn quoted the Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal as saying at a news conference on Thursday. The minister, however, refused to comment whether the Railway Ministry has resisted the Chinese request for fears of monopoly, but said the entire financing would now come from China.

Pakistan and China are expected to sign a formal agreement in this regard next month. Ahsan Iqbal said the ADB would be accommodated in some other projects, such as those under the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation programme. Under the original plan, the ADB had to provide USD 3.5 bn for the 1,700-kilometre-long line, considered the backbone of the country’s logistics connecting two major ports with the rest of the country for transporting goods and passengers.