The Karakoram Highway with a total length of 1,300 km connects the Pakistani provinces of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan with China’s western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. On the Chinese side it becomes the China National Highway 314. It is the main artery between China and Pakistan since it is the only overland link between the two countries. The highway passes through the Karakoram mountain range at an elevation of 4,714 meters making it a popular tourist attraction. It was built by the governments of Pakistan and China in 1959 and opened in 1979. About 810 Pakistanis and about 200 Chinese workers lost their lives during the construction work. Landslides, earthquakes and floods are not uncommon in the region, frequently damaging parts of the highway. A reconstruction and upgrade of the Karakoram Highway is underway under the framework of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and is said to be essential in the economic success of the Gwadar port. The reconstruction and upgrade is divided in different parts and phases.
The hydropower potential of the Jhelum River was identified by various studies carried out by international agencies. Already the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) proposed the Karot Hydropower Project in 1994. The Karot Hydropower Station in Pakistan is the first investment project of the Silk Road Fund and is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. It is a run-of-river concrete-core rock fill gravity dam with an installed capacity of 720 MW. Its is one of five hydropower stations planned to be built on the Jhelum River. The dam is expected to be 95.5m-high and 460m across the Jhelum River.
The Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line is one of four main railway lines in Pakistan. The line begins in Karachi and ends in Peshawar connecting the north and the south of the country. Currently the line consist of 184 stations with a total length of 1,687 km with a total travel time of 22 hours. Parts of the Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line have been established during the 19th century. Under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor the line will be upgraded in order to increase the average rail speed from current 105 km/h to 160 km/h. Furthermore, a computer based signaling and control system will be introduced and the entire track will be doubled. This upgrade is essential to the development of Pakistan since the Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line serves as the main passenger and freight line.
The Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable project provides 3G and 4G services to Pakistan. The cable spans a distance of 2,950 kilometers, connecting Rawalpindi (Punjab) with Khunjerab (Gilgit Baltistan) at the Chinese border at a height of 4,700 metres above the sea level, northwards to Urumqi in Xinjiang Autonomous Region (China). The 820 km long Pakistan section (Phase 1) is the only Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project under the Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In a second phase, the cable will be further extended to Gwadar in Balochistan, Pakistan. The project is part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Pakistan-China Friendship Hospital aims at creating a state-of-the-art medical facility in the port city of Gwadar. Currently the Hospital holds 50 beds. Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative it will be upgraded to 100 beds and eventually to 300 beds. Continue reading BRI Factsheet Series – Pakistan-China Friendship Hospital
The Havelian dry port is being built in the vicinity of Baldhair railway station, about five kilometres from Haripur city and is designed to meet the demand of the containerized future freight traffic between China and Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the Belt and Road Initiative. Havelian dry port will be an essential joint in the logistic infrastructure between the northern terminus of the ML-1 railway line (Karachi–Peshawar) and the southern terminus of the upgraded Karakorum Highway coming from the north, linking Pakistan to China.
The Infrastructure Development for Free Zone Gwadar is part of a larger series of construction projects in Gwadar under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Three areas have been allocated free zone and export processing zones in the industrial locations of Gwadar and are aiming at creating a backup port industry for the Gwadar Port: 1,000 acres for the export processing zone which will be handled by the Export Processing Zones Authority, 3,000 acres for an industrial zone which will be handled by the Gwadar Industrial Estate Development Authority and 2,280 acres for the Gwadar Port Free Zone which will be operated by the China Overseas Port Holding Company.
The Gwadar Port was inaugurated back in 2007. In 2015, it was announced that both the city of Gwadar as well as its port will be further developed under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Gwadar Port is owned by the Pakistan government Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) but since 2015 it is operated by the state-run Chinese firm China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), which leased it for 43 years. The specifics of the lease have been agreed on in a Concession Agreement. In this agreement it is stated, that the Construction of Breakwaters of the Gwadar Port is the responsibility of the Gwadar Port Authority in order to facilitate construction of additional terminals at the Port. Breakwaters are structures constructed on coasts which protect from weather and longshore drift. The Construction of Breakwaters of the Gwadar Port is part of a larger series of construction projects in Gwadar.
The New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) is part of a larger series of construction projects in Gwadar under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The airport will be constructed 25km northeast of the existing Gwadar International Airport and is financed through China, Pakistan and Oman. The new airport is hoped to develop the Gwadar peninsula and foster trade especially between Pakistan and China and will be the biggest airport of Pakistan, operating under the open sky policy.
The Gwadar East-Bay Expressway is part of a larger series of construction projects in Gwadar under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The 19km long, six lane expressway will connect the Gwadar Port with the Makran Coastal Highway and is a direct route for cargo traffic to and from the port.