ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a national project and it would benefit all the provinces.

Addressing a seminar in Islamabad today, he said this mega project could eliminate poverty and provide employment opportunities, particularly in remote areas of the country.

Sartaj Aziz said that political parties should not make the CPEC controversial for gaining political mileage.

He said CPEC will also help overcome the energy crisis, increasing power generation capacity and fulfilling the electricity needs of the country.

The Adviser said foolproof security for engineers working on the economic corridor project will be ensured and a special security division has been created for this purpose.

The statement comes at a time when controversy is prevailing due to unclear policy of the government over the routes of CPEC.

It may be noted that CPEC is an under construction $46 billion megaproject which is intended to upgrade and expand Pakistani infrastructure.

The Exim Bank of China will lend the Government of Pakistan approximately $11 billion to overhaul the country's transportation infrastructure at heavily-subsidized concessionary loans with an interest rate of 1.6%.

These projects will span the breadth and width of Pakistan, and will eventually link the Pakistani city of Gwadar Port in southwestern to China’s northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang via a vast network of highways and railways.

As part of the project, an 1,100 kilometer long motorway will be constructed between the cities of Karachi and Lahore, which will connect to the already completed M2 Motorway which runs between Lahore and Islamabad.

The Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and the Chinese border will also be completely overhauled and widened.

The Karachi–Peshawar main railway line will also be completely overhauled to allow for train travel at up to 160 kilometers per hour, with expected completion by December 2019.

Pakistan's railway network will also eventually be further developed in order to connect it to the Chinese railway network in Kashgar.