Amritsar: The Pakistan Railways has sought permission from the Ministry of Indian Railways to allow it to carry on trade with India via Chinese freight trains. Pakistan Railway Minister Haji Ghulam Ahmed, who is on India visit, is likely to discuss the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

According to the Railways, a few days back Pakistan had sent a Chinese freight train to India loaded with cement bags which was intercepted at zero line by the Indian Railways and refused to unload the goods from the coaches.

Senior DCM of Ferozpur rail division Brijesh Dharmani said the Pakistan Railways has sought permission from its Indian counterpart to allow them to send Chinese freight coaches. Aspects such as size, shape, weight of the trains as well as safety to run on Indian tracks has to be ascertained by the Commissioner, Railway Safety. Until these inspections of the Chinese trains are carried out by the Indian Railways they cannot be allowed to run on Indian rail tracks, Dharmani added.

Pakistan Railway Minister, who is on a visit to India, accepting the dismal condition of the goods train in his country said, “The Pakistan Railways is manufacturing new coaches to improve the condition of good trains and is also purchasing coaches from other countries.” 

He added, “If India also sells us train coaches at cheaper prices we will readily accept the offer.”

(Agencies)