19 March 2014
A high-level Chinese delegation is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan next month to discuss development projects related to the proposed Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.
Sources said on Monday that Chinese President Xi Jinping was also likely to visit Pakistan in September 2014 to sign a memorandum of understanding on the multi-phase scheme.
The corridor idea envisages a rail and road network, oil and gas pipelines, and fibre optic cables running from Sinkiang in western China through Pakistan to Gwadar, a strategic port on the Arabian Sea.
It has been heralded as ushering in a new era of economic cooperation between the two countries.
Ministers from both countries met in Beijing to discuss the plan last June.
Now, Pakistani newspaper, Business Recorder, reports sources saying that China wants to prepare "joint feasibility of common parameters" for the cluster of development projects.
The Pakistan government had set 30th June 2014 as the deadline to concerned authorities for preparing feasibility reports for the construction of Lahore-Karachi Motorway, the sources added.
Meanwhile two components of the economic corridor, Karakoram Highway and Multan-Sukkur portion, have been approved in the second meeting of the Joint Co-operation Committee (JCC) of Pak-China Economic Corridor.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and the Frontier Works Organisation of Pakistan would jointly work for the construction of these two projects.
A new road link from Islamabad to Khunjerab would also be constructed under Pak-China Economic Corridor, as would a railway line from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab.