Pakistan plans to include Chitral to Chakdara Highway (N-45) in CPEC. Will it be a game-changer?
Pakistan has planned a proposal to include Chitral to Chakdara Highway (N-45) that links Swat Motorway as a part of the western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Monday.
CPEC Joint Working Group on Transport Infrastructure held its eighth meeting through a video link at the Ministry of Communications.
There were several notable attendants of the meeting, which included the Federal Secretary Communications Zafar Hasan, Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation China Shan Hongjun, Vice Minister of China on Transport DAI Dongchang along with the Chairman National Highway Authority Capt. (R) Sikander Qayyum.
Some more prominent entourages included the representatives of Foreign Office, Ministry of Railways, CPEC Authority, Sindh Government, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Balochistan Government, Civil Aviation Authority, and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government councils.
After the discussion, the conference approved the motorway construction plan stretching from Peshawar to D.I. Khan (320KM), Swat Expressway from Chakdara to Fatehpur Phase-II (182KM), and Dir Expressway (30KM).
At the meeting, Pakistan representatives briefed about the ML-1 project, Peshawar Circular Railway, Quetta Mass Transit Project, and Karachi Circular Railway. Furthermore, their briefing also encompassed other projects like Chitral-Shandoor-Gilgit, Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra, and Nokundi-Mashkhel-Panjgur plans.
Secretary Communications Zafar Hasan stated that CPEC is the common vision that marks the friendship of two great nations. He suggested the inclusion of Chitral to Chakdara Highway (N-45) linking Swat Motorway (Chakdara to Col. Sher Khan Interchange on Motorway M-1) as part of the western route of CPEC.
Pakistan and China’s relationship is ‘higher than mountains’
Chinese Vice Minister of Transport Dai Dongchang, while addressing the meeting, said that Pakistan and China’s relationship is ‘higher than mountains’, and it is improving over time. He elaborated that the cooperation between the two nations in the construction sector is progressively expanding, which would result in an improved development rate witnessed in Pakistan.
He called the video link meeting “result-oriented” before appreciating Pakistan’s effort and commitments on CPEC projects. Additionally, he also announced that China intends to broaden the scope of CPEC by including further projects.
Chairman National Highway Authority Capt. (R) Sikander Qayyum stated that during the meeting, the Sukkur-Multan Motorway and Havelian-Thakot Motorway plans have been successfully concluded in a record time frame with high-quality construction.
He said that the Thakot-Raikot sector of Karakoram Highway, that extends to over 136 KM, is a vital link and will play a significant part in the country’s development. He emphasized the requirement for a 210 km up-gradation of the D.I.Khan-Zhob Section on a priority basis.
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