[News] Pakistan and China to pursue rail link between Havelian and Khunjerab-PM
June 10, 2010 5 Comments
ISLAMABAD, Jun 9 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Wednesday said China’s support for Pakistan’s security, stability and economic development is a source of strength.He thanked China for its steadfast support and solidarity to Pakistan through thick and thin and termed Pakistan-China relations a central pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy.The Prime Minister expressed these views at the start of bilateral talks held between Pakistan and China here at the PM House on Wednesday evening.The Chinese delegation was headed by Vice Premier Mr. Zhang Dejiang.Pakistan and China on at the conclusion of the bilateral talks also signed five agreements.
The Prime Minister said that Karakoram Highway is the most vital trade and strategic link between Pakistan and China and its upgradation would greatly help boost economic ties.
Unfortunately, some sections of Karakoram Highway, he added, have come under deep water of Attabad lake, caused by recent landslides. Pakistan would like a Chinese technical team to evaluate the situation of Karakoram Highway, in the wake of creation of Attabad lake, with a view of its urgent restoration, he added.
He called on the Government of China to consider immediate assistance for Pakistan for construction of a bypass on KKH to re-open it for traffic and to facilitate issuance of visa permits and licenses to the personnel of the transport companies and business houses involved in arranging much needed surplus from China to the people of Hunza and other affected areas near Attabad lake.
Pakistan, he maintained, is keen to pursue rail link between Havelian and Khunjerab, which would provide a direct link between Pakistan and China. The Gwadar port, he said, will provide an optimal trade route for China, Pakistan and the Central Asian States after completion of Havelian Khunjerab rail link.
Vice Premier Mr. Zhang Dejiang, assured that China would take every possible measure to rectify the trade imbalance between the two countries. He stated that relevant Chinese Ministries and departments will be directed to give top priority and favourable consideration to the specific projects proposed by the Prime Minister for assistance and cooperation in the fields of infrastructure connectivity, telecommunications, agriculture, energy, water conservation, and railways.
The Chinese Vice Premier greatly appreciated Pakistan’s role as a frontline state against terrorism.
In the wake of economic losses to Pakistan in fighting war against terror, he assured, China would extend unilateral concessions to Pakistan in trade and commerce.