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PM Nawaz approves Pak-China Trade Corridor

17 August, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday terming the Pakistan China Economic Corridor as future of the country said it will provide connectivity with the Central Asian Republics and make it a regional hub for transit trade.

Chairing a meeting to discuss the Trade Corridor from Kashgar to Khunjerab and Gwadar, the Prime Minister, in principal approved the proposed alignment of the Corridor, with directions to further evaluate the proposal in terms of time and cost efficiency, after a detailed briefing.

The meeting attended by Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Information Pervez Rashid, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatmi and other officials, also discussed an alternative and shorter route along the Karakoram Highway, connecting Chilas with Mansehra through the Babusar Top.

Prime Minister directed that this route should be developed on priority and said a tunnel can be made across the Babusar top to make it accessible throughout the year. He directed that the route be connected with Muzaffarabad through a road from Balakot and Garhi Habibullah. The distance must be reduced by building connecting bridges and tunnels by using latest technologies and equipment, the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also directed to prepare feasibility for constructing a road between Hawalian and Islamabad to provide a shorter route to Islamabad to commuters from Gilgit, Mansehra and Abbottabad. The Premier stressed the need for mitigating environmental impacts during the construction of these roads.

The meeting also approved construction of Muzaffarabad - Mirpur road that will reduce the distance between the two cities by 150 kms and give Mirpur a direct access to G.T road at Dina.

During the briefing the Prime Minister was told that the alignment for Lahore-Karachi Motorway will start from Babo Sabo Interchange on M-2 and connect with Karachi passing through Khanewal, Multan, Sukkur, Khairpur and Dadu.

Addressing the meeting, Sharif also directed provision of inter connectivity and linkages between Pakistan Economic Corridor, Indus Highway, Motorways and Grand Trunk Road to provide impetus to the economic activity in the country and easier travel facilities to the commuters.

Rs 1.5m assistance package: The prime minister on Friday approved special assistance package of Rs. 15 million for the spouses and families of martyred officers for their gallantry services.

The prime minister appreciated the dedicated services and heroic deeds of the officials of law enforcing agencies with conferment of gallantry awards as well, a Prime Minister House statement said.

The martyred officers include Shaheed Fayyaz Ahmad (PSP/BS- 19), Shaheed Lt. (Retd) Muhammad Hilal (PSP/BS-18) and Shaheed Abdul Mansoor Khan (PAS/BS-19 Acting).

Fayaz Ahmad was martyred on August 8, 2013 in a suicide blast in District Police Lines, Quetta while reviewing the security arrangements for the funeral ceremony of another shaheed officer.

The Special Assistance Package includes an amount of compensation to the tune of Rs 9 million in addition to lump-sum grant of one million rupees already approved.

Moreover, approval was granted for Rs 5 million in cash to the spouse/family in lieu of plot/land as per Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation's policy for deceased employees.

End.

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