16 May 2014
The Pakistani government has announced that its budget for the coming financial year will include a multi-billion dollar infrastructure programme to improve the country’s transport links. Projects to be funded include the Lahore-Karachi motorway, road and rail links between Pakistan and China, including an upgrade of the Karakoram Highway.Â
Pakistan wants to become the economic hub of Asia–
Ahsan Iqbal, minister for planning
There are also plans for a "dry port" in the inland town of Havelian, and a railway to link it to the port of Gawadar on the Bay of Bengal.Â Â
An official from Pakistan’s Public Sector Development Programme said, "All ministries and divisions have forwarded 150 to 200 development projects for inserting into the programme for 2014/15 but the government has decided to include a few mega-projects in the list."
Lahore-Karachi Motorway plan (http://www.urbanpk.com)
Earlier this month, Pakistan and China agreed a joint plan to develop an "economic corridor" from Kashgar in western China to Gwadar. Both countries agreed to work on an integrated plan for improving the corridors transport infrastructure.Â Â
Ahsan Iqbal, the minister for planning, commented last week that the Pakistan wanted to become an economic hub of Asia. He said the government focused on greater regional connectivity by developing infrastructure and close ties with the neighbouring countries.