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Dated : 12 May 2017
Islamabad, May 12, 2017: Minister for Planning Development & Reform, Ahsan Iqbal has announced that Pakistan and China would sign number of CPEC related agreements and memorandum of understandings during Belt and Road Forum scheduled to be held in Beijing.
He expressed these views while talking to media men during his flight to Beijing, China to participate in the Belt and Road Forum to be held on 14-15 May, aimed at regional development through win-win cooperation.
Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal is part of Pakistan’s high level delegation, headed by Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharief, the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The Pakistan’s delegations who arrived Beijing, included four chief ministers; Shahbaz Sharif of Punjab, Pervaiz Khattak of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sanaullah Zehri of Balochistan and Murad Ali Shah of Sindh.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Railways Minister Saad Rafique, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir, State Minister for Information Technology Anousha Rehman and PM's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also accompanied the prime minister.
Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC is the flagship project of One Belt One Road Summit. “CPEC is the first and the most important bilateral initiative of this forum” he remarked.
He said a number of agreements and MoUs related to CPEC projects are also expected to be signed on the occasion. He said singing of agreement on CPEC important project for Gwadar Eastbay Expressway is planned.
The project will be financed through an interest free loan from the Chinese government under CPEC. It envisages construction of 18.981 km 4-lane divided expressway with embankment for 6-lanes structures, integrating Gwadar Port with the Makran Coastal Highway as well as with the free zone and future container terminals.
Ahsan Iqbal further said that signing of New Gwadar International Airport project agreement is also expected during this important forum.
This mega project envisages construction of New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), along with allied facilities for new airport that will be capable of handling a combination of ATR 72, Airbus, (A-300), Boeing (B-737) and Boeing (B-747) for domestic as well international routes.
Ahsan Iqbal further told that signing of the agreement of Pakistan’s Railway’s ‘up gradation of ML-1 project’ is also planned. “It will help in rehabilitation & up-gradation of Karachi-Lahore Peshawar to Landi Kotal (ML-1) Railway Track” he added. He said that implementation of this project will allow increase of train speed upto 160 kilometer per hour.
The project is being implemented with the cost of US $ 8212 M. It will help in transportation of heavy cargos from Gwadar and Karachi to Khunjrab and vice versa. Construction of Havelian dry port is also planned under this project which will meet the demand of containerized future freight traffic in connection with Pak-China Economic Corridor.