Pakistan seeks road connectivity to Central Asia

October 10th, 2011 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Oct 10 (IANS)

Gilani said he will discuss the project with officials of the two countries during his upcoming visit to the SAARC summit in the Maldives next month.

The project when completed will provide the shortest possible route between Pakistan and Tajikistan, he said.

The road will pass about eight kilometers through Afghanistan’s Wakhan region, Gilani told the Gilgit-Baltistan Governor, Pir Karam Ali Shah, who called on him at his official residence here Sunday.

“I visited Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, China and other Central Asian republics to further my vision,” Gilani said.

He said Pakistan was keen to enhance trade with Afghanistan and beyond, and hence road and rail networks were essential.

The prime minister said he will highlight the issue at the Nov 10-11 summit since connectivity will provide an enabling environment for socio-economic development in the region.

About Rs.2 billion will be required to build the road on the Pakistani side, the official APP news agency reported.

The eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) — India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan — will hold their 17th summit in Male.

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