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Belt and Road

Pakistan Belt and Road railway hits snag as China nixes low rate

Islamabad turns to G-20 for debt relief after Beijing reluctant to negotiate

A laborer digs in preparation for the replacement of concrete sleepers along a railway track in Karachi in Jan. 2018.   © Reuters

KARACHI -- The Main Line 1, or ML-1, railway project, the largest in China's Belt and Road Initiative in Pakistan, has run into trouble as Beijing is reluctant to finance the project at the 1% interest rate demanded by Islamabad.

ML-1 is the biggest initiative in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, with a price tag of $6.8 billion. With 2,655 km of track, it connects Karachi in the South to Peshawar in the North of Pakistan. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the federal minister of railways, claimed that ML-1 will provide jobs for 150,000 people in Pakistan.

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