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Work on CPEC’s western route to be expedited

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Islamabad, Oct 13 (IANS) Following completion of the first phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Joint Working Group of China and Pakistan on Infr­a­structure Develop­ment has decided to expedite work on the project’s western route.

A delegation headed by the Transport Minister of China called on Pakistan’s Minister for Communications Murad Saeed and discussed the infrastructure development projects in detail, Dawn news quoted an official statement as saying on Saturday.

The Joint Working Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for transport infrastructure development.

The statement said under the CPEC’s second phase, around 1,270km highways would be constructed and the roads from Gilgit to Chitral, Dera Ismail Khan-Zhob, Peshawar-Dera Ismail Khan and Swat Expressway Phase-II would also be developed.

The development comes after Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing last month ruled out a slowdown in the projects falling under CPEC, adding that they were set to get a new push.

The CPEC is a key project of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative that aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through a vast network of highways, rail lines and sea lanes.

The multi-billion dollar corridor connects the Chinese city of Kashgar with Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea.

 

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