Russia, UAE commit $1bn for Pakistan railway sector revitalisation

Russia plans to invest $550-660 million in upgrading Quetta-Taftan railway line, while the UAE is considering a $350-400 million investment in constructing a freight corridor

Pakistan’s railway sector, long in need of modernisation, is set to receive a significant boost with commitments from Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) totaling up to $1 billion in investments.

Negotiations between Pakistan and these nations have focused on rejuvenating the railway sector.

Pakistan’s railways, once a key player in goods transport, suffered a decline due to various challenges, including competition from the tanker industry.

Russia has pledged an investment between $550 million and $660 million for upgrading the Quetta-Taftan railway line in Balochistan.

This commitment was formalised during a recent visit by Pakistan Railway’s minister and secretary to Russia on December 8, 2023, and efforts are underway to finalize a government-to-government (G2G) framework agreement.

Pakistan’s ambassador to Russia has been tasked with monitoring the progress of this investment plan.

Additionally, this follows Pakistan’s recent success in importing oil from Russia, a move seen as strengthening economic ties between the two countries.

Russia had also previously shown interest in revitalizing Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and investing in modernizing Pakistan’s older power plants.

Meanwhile, the UAE is considering an investment of $350-400 million for constructing a dedicated freight corridor in Pakistan.

This potential investment builds on the UAE’s ongoing economic engagements in Pakistan, including a recent agreement to invest in a port terminal in Karachi.

The UAE’s plans include the construction of the dedicated freight corridor (DFC) and a multimodal logistic hub at Pipri.



  1. Pakistan must consider what terms are written in the agreement. We must refrain from exporting low cost commodities like animal fodder and onion, and importing high cost crude oil from these countries.
    We must export only value added commodities.

  2. Privayization is only solution of the issue, as all of us know how inefficeincy and corruption has ddstroyed all institutions.

  3. privatisation and open competition coupled with digitisation is the only way forward. If done unbiased it can revive the PR.

  4. pak can’t afford to return loan with interest in due time and projects too wouldn’t be completed in due course of time. apart from this road transport is more quicker than railway.


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