Signing of agreement on Gwadar Airport, rail upgradation on PM’s China visit agenda: Ahsan

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ON BOARD PM’s SPECIAL AIRCRAFT, May 12 (APP): Minister for Planning and Development Professor Ahsan Iqbal Friday said agreements for construction of Gwadar Airport, Gwadar expressway and upgradation of railway track ML-1 were on the agenda of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif during his week long visit to China.
In an interview with APP in the flight en route to Beijing along with the prime minister to attend ‘Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation’ in Chinese capital, the planning minister said China Pakistan Economic Corridor was world’s biggest ever project of regional connectivity and shining part of the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He said under the OBOR, China was aiming at establishing regional connectivity with Africa and Asia through multiple linkages.
He said after an MoU between the two leaders, the two countries reached an agreement for the execution of various projects costing $46 billion.
He said though the visit of Chinese president faced a delay owing to negative politics in the country, the government managed to launch work worth over $50 billion including energy and infrastructure.
He said a distinctive aspect of the BRF was that it was being participated by the chief ministers of the four provinces which would give a strong message of cohesiveness among the national leadership on national security, development and particularly the CPEC.
He said under CPEC, railway track would be upgraded from Karachi to Landi Kotal to double the speed from existing 80 kilometers per hour to 160 km per hour.
Such an upgradation of railways would not only usher an era of economic development by enhancing local market’s access to other markets besides enhancing competitiveness.