Building on ties: New premier indicates plan to link Gwadar with China

Newly-elected Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, in his maiden speech, revealed that Islamabad and Beijing have expressed a keen desire to implement the Gwadar-Khunjerab-Kashgar rail network. The project had been discussed during talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in his recent visit to Pakistan.

While PM Sharif said the actual details of the project would be shared at a later date, he also stated that both countries will soon establish a taskforce to complete the project within the next five years, indicating that it may be implemented on a fast-track basis.

The successful implementation of the Gwadar-Khunjerab-Kashgar rail network will help China secure oil supply and commercial routes on the Indian Ocean, furthering its plans to secure yet another strategic energy and trade corridor. Besides, the project is expected to provide a major boost to Pakistan’s sinking economy. Continue reading