According to Pakistan’s minister, the country would negotiate with China to cut the cost of its massive railway project by 40% because it cannot afford such a large loan.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique stated in Lahore on Monday that the ministry would first seek the federal cabinet’s consent before speaking with the Chinese. In November, the two countries decided to upgrade the 1,163-mile route that runs from Karachi in the south to Peshawar.
Rafique asked, “How will we pay back a loan this size?
With more than $29 billion in projects completed there, Pakistan has served as a showcase country for President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road strategy. Power projects funded by China helped the country address its power shortage but also raised its debt load. According to a report from the International Monetary Fund published last year, China, including state-owned commercial banks, is the recipient of almost 30% of Pakistan’s foreign debt.