Pakistan military to ensure security for economic corridor
Pakistan's military spokesperson Asif Ghafoor (left) and Pakistani ambassador to China Masood Khalid attend a news conference at Pakistani embassy in Beijing on Tuesday. [Photo by Wang Qingyun/chinadaily.com.cn]
Pakistan's military spokesperson Asif Ghafoor said in a news conference in the Pakistan embassy in Beijing that the Pakistani army has constructed nearly 900 kilometers of road, "which is one of the basic prerequisites to activate the CPEC."
The economic corridor, the planning of which started in 2013, links Kashgar in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Baluchistan region.
An important part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, the corridor is seeing the construction of a number of projects such as highways, railways and energy facilities.
According to a speech published on the website of the Chinese embassy in Pakistan, Ambassador Sun Weidong said that 18 "early harvest projects" of CPEC are under construction, and have created more than 13,000 jobs for the local people.
Sun also said some energy projects will be completed to help further address Pakistan's energy shortage.
Masood Khalid, Pakistani Ambassador to China, told reporters on Tuesday that the Pakistani government "has done everything" to ensure the safety about 19,000 Chinese working on different projects in Pakistan.
Pakistan has deployed more than 15,000 troops to protect the CPEC, and the country's navy has raised a contingent for the protection of Gwadar Port, said Khalid.