New container train launched by Pakistan’s PM

Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gillani launches Pakistan’s first international container train from Islamabad to Istanbul.

Yousuf Raza Gilani یوسف رضا گیلانی

Yousuf Raza Gilani یوسف رضا گیلانی

A container train service was launched by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani between Islamabad and Istanbul on 14 August 2009.

The first train carried 20 containers with a capacity of around 750 tons and will travel 6,500 km (4,039 mi) from Islamabad, through Iran and on to Istanbul in two weeks time.

According to the Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, after the trial of container train service, a passenger train will be launched.

Pakistan and Turkey have maintained long-standing military ties, with Turkey supplying arms, military equipment and training Pakistani officers. On April 2, 1954, Pakistan and Turkey signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation.

Both countries, valued as important states in Western and Central Asia, joined the U.S.-led Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) aimed to bolster military and strategic cooperation and counter the spread of communism and Soviet influence in the region.

Turkey has openly supported Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir conflict and maintained political and military support during its wars with India. Pakistan has reciprocated by expressing support for Turkey’s policy on Northern Cyprus. Both nations have sought to expand cooperation to fight terrorism. Both countries are also members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

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