CI pipeline doesn't run automatically when included .yml contains workflow rules

I am trying to include an external GitLab CI YAML file into my project local .gitlab-ci.yml file. The external YAML, which is in my other GitLab project ci/cd > templates contains some workflow rules:

# ci-cd.yml

    - if: '$TRACK != null' # TRACK is the environment type (staging/production)
      when: always
    - if: '$CI_PIPELINE_SOURCE =~ /^trigger|pipeline|web|api$/'
      when: always

Below is my project local .gitlab-ci.yml:

- '/.gitlab-ci-test.yml'
- project: 'ci-cd/templates'
  file: 'ci-cd.yml'


The problem is - none of the jobs I have defined inside locally included .gitlab-ci-test.yml get triggered when I push the changes to GitLab, even when the job has when: always set. Seems like the workflow rules in external ci-cd.yml are not letting the jobs run.

I’ve also tried to locally add a workflow rule to .gitlab-ci.yml that evaluates to true, because the GitLab workflow keyword docs say

When no rules evaluate to true, the pipeline does not run.

That means if any one of the rules evaluates to true, pipeline should have run, which did not happen when I added a local workflow rule.

I hope I was clear in issue description. Would appreciate any help!