ISLAMABAD, July 20: Pakistan and China have formed a task force on implementation of a MoU for construction of an economic corridor between Silk Road city of Xinjiang and Gwadar, Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning and Development, said here on Saturday.
The minister further informed that the said task force would meet in Islamabad in August.
Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission, Xu Shao, would lead the Chinese delegation at the task force meeting. Mr Iqbal, who signed the agreement together with Mr Shao during the recent visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would lead the Pakistan side to review implementation of the agreement.
The strategic value project has been estimated to cost $18 billion requiring construction of a number of tunnels is to be built through Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The minister told newsmen that the task force would review development since the signing of the agreement on July 5, and would take decisions according to the terms of reference of the project implementation.
A number of surveys, including seismic surveys, would be carried out by experts from both the countries. “We have to finalise the project in one year,” he added.
He said that the prime minister has approved alignment of the motorway between Lahore and Karachi.
“The project would be completed in three years and would serve as a parallel trade corridor. The government plans to complete the six-lane each motorway on a fast track basis, and the National Highway Authority has been instructed to initiate the process,” he said.Mr Iqbal further said that the prime minister has approved construction of motorways between Karachi and Hyderabad as well as Pindi Bhattian-Lahore and Hasanabdal-Mansehra on the basis of BOT.