ISLAMABAD   -   The 8th meeting of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Joint Working Group on Transport Infrastructure was held via video link at Ministry of Communications here on Monday. 

The meeting was attended besides others by Federal Secretary Communications Zafar Hasan, Vice Minister of China on Transport DAI Dongchang, Deputy Director General for International Cooperation China Shan Hongjun and Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Capt. (Retd) Sikander Qayyum. The representatives of Foreign Office, CPEC Authority, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Sindh Government, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan Government and Civil Aviation Authority were also present on the occasion. 

After deliberations, the meeting adopted construction of a motorway from Peshawar to D.I. Khan (320km), Swat Expressway from Chakdara to Fatehpur Phase-II (182km) and Dir Expressway (30km). Pakistan side gave briefing on ML-1 Project, Karachi Circular Railway, Peshawar Circular Railway and Quetta Mass Transit Project. Chitral-Shandoor-Gilgit, Nokundi-Mashkhel-Panjgur and Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra projects were also brought under discussion.

Secretary Communications Zafar Hasan said CPEC was the vision of leadership of both the neighbouring countries. He proposed inclusion of Chitral to Chakdara Highway (N-45) connecting Swat Motorway (Chakdara to Col. Sher Khan Interchange on Motorway M-1) as part of CPEC Western Route. He said the Government of Pakistan was planning for the remaining sections of Gwadar-Ratodero Motorway M-8. He desired study of those parts of Karakoram Highway which were affected by the landslides so that remedial measures could be devised to ensure smooth flow of traffic. Terming the meeting meaningful, he hoped that the meeting would remain successful and achieve its objectives.

Addressing the meeting, Chinese Vice Minister on Transport DAI Dongchang said the friendship of China and Pakistan was higher than the mountains and it was being strengthened and deepened with the passage of time. He said cooperation in the construction sector was gradually expanding between the two countries, which would accelerate pace of development in Pakistan.

Chairman National Highway Authority Capt. (Retd) Sikander Qayyum told the meeting that Sukkur-Multan Motorway and Havelian-Thakot Motorway projects were completed in record time frame with quality construction. He said 136km long Thakot-Raikot section of Karakoram Highway was an important link and that TOR had been approved for hiring consultant for re-alignment. He stressed upon the need of upgradation of D.I.Khan-Zhob Section on priority.