Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pakistan to Iran Rail Freight Service 'A Route For Terror'

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The Iran – Pakistan – Turkish rail freight service we reported on last August has been dubbed “a clear route for terrorists” by Israeli media after the Pakistani Minister of Railways, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, confirmed that regular cargo operations on the line will commence on 1st August. The news comes just at the time the country’s security services stand accused of collusion with Taliban terrorists in a report from Harvard University researcher Matt Waldman undertaken on behalf of the London School of Economics.

"Turkey will send a freight train to Islamabad on August 1 and after that freight trains will travel between Iran, Pakistan and Turkey on a regular basis," said the minister whilst confirming that Pakistan wishes improved and extended rail infrastructure with both Iran and Turkey.

The service, known as the ECO train after funding from the Economic Cooperation Organization rather than any green aspirations, commenced trial shipments last year but it has taken a year to officially commission the six and a half thousand kilometre route which has attracted polarised views, from an essential artery to access the scheduled destinations without recourse to sea freight, to a terrorist home delivery service, depending on your standpoint.