Pakistan's rail minister says the country's largest Chinese-funded "silk road" rail project will have its budget cut by $2 billion, citing debt concerns. The project to restore the aging 1,872 kilometer ML-1 rail lines from Karachi to Peshawar was initially priced at $8.2 billion, but concerns over the cost have led to delays. The new government of populist Prime Minister Imran Khan has been cautious about taking on the rail projects, which receive billions in funding from the Chinese government. It has pushed the Chinese government to restructure the agreement to rely less on debt or to allow other countries to co-finance the operation. "Pakistan is a poor country that cannot afford huge burden of the loans," Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed said Monday in the city of Lahore. Chinese President Xi Jinping has pushed his Belt and Road Initiative as a means of increasing international trade and goodwill through massive...
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