Briefing on regional connectivity projects

MURREE: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdmuhamedov were given a briefing on the projects of regional connectivity including the proposed road connecting Pakistan with Central Asia.

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Chairman National Highway Authority Shahid Ashraf Tarar briefed the two leaders about the projects under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Programme here at the Government House.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif termed infrastructural development the economic lifeline of Pakistan. He expressed confidence that the completion of regional connectivity projects along with the projects relating China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would turn around the economic outlook of Pakistan and would prove to be a game changer for the entire region.

Turkmen President Berdmuhamedov appreciated the vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif about infrastructural development. He expressed interest in the proposed routes that fall along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

The Turkmen President also showed interest in investing in Gwadar in different areas, including storage facilities.  “We want to use Gwadar as our home port,” he said. Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi were also present.

Pakistan, China and Central Asian states are part of the CAREC Programme. The Programme is a partnership of 10 countries and six multilateral development partners to promote regional development through cooperation to achieve accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction.

The first propose route include road from Gwadar to Termez via Quetta, Kandhar, Herat and Mazar Sharif. Another road is proposed to be constructed from Karachi to Tashkent via Torkhum, Kabul, Kunduz and Dushanbe.

The third proposed route is Gwadar to Ashgabat, a road to be built via Quetta, Kandhar and Herat. Also, a route is proposed to connect Gwadar with Tejen via Zahidan and Mashhad (Iran). APP