Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has stressed for establishing state of the art fast moving railway tracks and expressway to connect China with Pakistan through Khanjrab‚ Gwadar and Karachi‚ which he said‚ will usher in a new era of economic prosperity for both the countries and the entire region. Chairing a high level meeting in Islamabad on Friday‚ he said railway track and expressway should be constructed for connecting Pakistan to China.
“Projects to benefit maximum number of population of the region will be pursued that will enhance economic activities‚ provide jobs and change the destiny of millions”‚ observed the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said that he had held in-depth discussions on the proposed projects with Chinese Premier‚ during his recent visit to Pakistan and was happy to note that Chinese Government was equally interested in the project. “We want concrete projects and tangible results to benefit the people of Pakistan and China”‚ added the Prime Minister.
He further said that the project is in the greater interest of China as it will reduce distance inside Chinese territory thus resulting in reduction of cost of transportation and giving access to Chinese trade with India‚ Central Asia and the whole region.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the future belongs to this region due to its huge potential‚ thick population and massive business opportunities. Mr Ahsan Iqbal‚ Minister for Planning and Development briefed the meeting on the on-going projects and areas for future projects with the Chinese government including Railway Network‚ Energy Sector and Road Networks. The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Railways to submit solid proposals for building new Railway track alignment to facilitate fast moving trains for passenger and cargo services‚ before a delegation leaves for China in a couple of days. The Prime Minister‚ however‚ asked for “out of the box” thinking and doable projects to be identified that could benefit maximum number of population.
He proposed to work on an alignment i.e Havelian-Ratodero- Gwadar-Karachi-Quetta and Havelian- Islamabad-Lahore Railway track and Expressways that would substantially enhance trade activities and open up this region to China and the world. He also directed the Planning and Development Division for identification of economic zones alongside the proposed Railway and Expressway.
The Prime Minister underlined the importance of special economic zones and converting Gwadar into an international city and economic hub to bring about prosperity for the people of Balochistan and the country. He said that the missing links in the existing roads and Railway tracks must be built but the need of the day is establishing new linkages to connect China with Pakistan and give access for Chinese trade to India‚ Central Asia, etc. Mr Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Information‚ Broadcasting and National Heritage‚ Khawaja Saad Rafiq Minister for Railways‚ Secretaries Railways‚ Communication‚ EAD‚ Chairman CDA and other senior officials were also present in the Briefing.