BEIJING, July 9: China will build two highways in Gilgit-Baltistan at an estimated cost of Rs 45 billion —85 per cent of the amount will be borne by China and the rest by Pakistan.
One of the highways, having a proposed length of 165 kilometres, will link Skardu with Jaglot and the other, 135kms long, will link Thakot and Sazin.
The highway project was the highlight of four memorandums of understanding signed between the two countries on Friday
. The other MOUs pertained to health and power generation sectors.
The MoUs were signed after President Asif Zardari’s speech at the Pak-China Economic Cooperation Forum.
The MOU on the energy sector envisaged generation of 500 megawatt through wind power. The wind turbines will be set up along the coastal areas of Sindh at a cost of one billion dollars.
In his address to the Economic Forum, the president expressed satisfaction over the cooperation between China and Pakistan in civilian nuclear technology, setting aside reservations of the world community.
“This shows the existence of a warm relationship between the two countries and is a matter of pride and respect for Pakistan,” Mr Zardari said. Chief executives of leading corporations and institutions representing the energy, construction, mining and petroleum sectors as well as representatives of chambers of commerce and industries attended the function.
Mr Zardari said Pakistan would use all resources for power generation to overcome the energy crisis, inviting Chinese entrepreneurs to take advantage of incentives on offer in the energy, agriculture, communication and banking sectors.
He said the relationship between Pakistan and China had stood the test of time and it was now up to the third generation to carry the baton. “We have to strengthen our bonds through enhanced economic cooperation to fulfil the vision of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Shaheed and Chairman Mao Tse Tung.
“Coming generations will not forgive us if we did not realise the full potential of Pak-China relations for the economic growth of the region,” the president said.
The friendship was important to peace and stability in the region and the two countries had to stand together to fight the new challenges, Mr Zardari said.
“I have come to China to learn about miracles achieved by this nation and to apply its experience for the benefit of Pakistan.”
The CEOs showed interest in investing in energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan.—APP
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