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imageISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Railways will upgrade its existing tracks besides installing new railway tracks from Gwadar-Quetta-Jacobabad via Besima Tehsil in Balochistan, under China-Pak-Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Under the project, a total 560 kilometres track from Bostan-Kotla Jam on the main line-II via Zhob and Dera Ismail Khan and another 682 kilometres track from Havelian to Khunjerab will be laid, a source in the Ministry of Railways told APP.

The upgradation of 1,872 kilometres track from Karachi to Peshawar via Kotri, Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi (including Taxila- Havelian) - along with dualization of the track from Shahdara to Peshawar will also be carried out.

To enhance connectivity and improve transportation facilities, 1,254 kilometres of railway track from Kotri to Attock City via Dadu, Larkana, Jacobabad, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bhakkar and Kundian will be upgraded.

The CPEC is a 3,000-kilometer network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas from Gwadar Port to Kashgar city, Northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

An official agreement on the corridor was signed between the two countries in May last year during Chinese President's historic visit to Pakistan.

The project links China's strategy to develop its western region with Pakistan's focus on boosting its economy, including the infrastructure construction of Gwadar Port, together with some energy cooperation and investment programmes.

It also involves road and railway construction including the upgradation of 1,300-km Karakoram Highway, the highest paved international road in the world which connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountains.

The CPEC will reduce China's routes of oil and gas imports from Africa and the Middle East by thousands of kilometers, making Gwadar a potentially vital link in China's supply chain.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2016

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