Pakistan says works on key route of CPEC underway

Islamabad, Oct 9 (IANS) A Pakistani parliamentary committee on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was informed on Thursday that work on a key route of the multi-billion-US dollar project has already begun.

The Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal, who was also the focal person on the CPEC from the Pakistani side, said the construction of a 650-km road linking the port city of Gwadar in Balochistan to Sorab, a main town in the province, would be completed by December 2016. This road will link Gwadar with Quetta, provincial capital of Balochistan.

The rest of the western route, which will link Gwadar with the Chinese city of Kashgar through Balochistan and the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is 2,518 km in length and its construction was already underway, he said.

The parliamentary committee was formed in line with an all-party conference held in May that endorsed the CPEC. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had convened the meeting to seek support from all parties for the project.

Senator Mushahid Hussain, chairman of the committee, said that the committee would take decisions in consultation with its members and in this regard.

The meeting also approved the rules of procedures of the committee as well as the proposed work plan which is regarding its briefings, site visits and other activities for the next six months.

Hussain said that the committee would work above party and provincial lines to promote the national objective of building the CPEC with consultation and consensus.

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