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Pak wants China rail link through PoK 

Beijing, September 19
Pakistan wants China to construct a rail link through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and a network of oil and gas pipelines, which will help cut costs for Beijing's burgeoning energy needs and ensure mutual benefit.

Pakistan has also offered to be part of a Chinese plan to build a new Silk Road to connect the oil-rich Xinjiang region with Euro-Asian countries, including Russia. Xinjiang borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

While Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari referred to some of these proposals during his recent visit to Xinjiang province, Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khan today elaborated on them in an article in the state-run daily 'Global Times'.

"Pakistan and China both aspire to enhance connectivity between them. They will achieve this objective by upgrading the Karakoram Highway, building a 411-mile-long railroad from the Pakistani town of Havelian to Khunjerab Pass, located on the Sino-Pakistani border, install a fibre optic link across the border, and plan the laying of oil and gas pipelines that can originate from the Gulf and end up in China's western region," he said.

Much of Khan's article dwelt on China's new plan to develop its western region, including Xinjiang bordering PoK, under which billion of dollars of investment is expected to pour in by creating new SEZs and industries that can benefit both Pakistan and China.

China sees Xinjiang's development as revival of the new Silk Road connecting it to Euro-Asian countries as well as Russia. PTI 

Beneficial for both

n China plans to develop its western region, including Xinjiang, which borders PoK

n Billions of dollars of investment is expected to pour in by creating new SEZs and industries to benefit both Pakistan and China

n China sees Xinjiang's development as revival of the new Silk Road connecting it to Euro-Asian countries as well as Russia. Pak wants to be part of the plan

n Trade routed via Xinjiang can save China 5,000 miles and several days of transit time

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