ISLAMABAD: China and Pakistan will sign major road and highway deals during caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar’s four-day visit to Beijing commencing Oct. 16.
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Under CPEC, the deals will be signed.
PM Kakar will attend the Third Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation in Beijing from Oct. 17-18.
“The prime minister will attend the BRF opening ceremony and address the high-level forum entitled ‘Connectivity in an Open Global Economy,’” the PM office posted on X on Saturday.
Taliban to join forum
Premier and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet. The two-day moot will also bring him together with other leaders. According to Reuters and AFP, the Forum would host senior Chinese officials, business leaders, investors, and 130 other figures, from the Russian president to Taliban representatives.
President Xi’s global infrastructure and energy program to recreate the Silk Road to increase global trade turns 10 at the Beijing forum.
PM Kakar leaves for Belt and Road Forum in Beijing tomorrow.
Highway Research & Training Centre
One important MoU for Pakistan is the creation of a modern Highway Research & Training Centre (HRTC) with Chinese help. The PM’s talks with China will focus on the project.
HRTC, a subsidiary of National Highway Authority (NHA), conducts indigenous research in pavements, bridges, tunneling, environmental engineering, hydraulics, Geotech, and technical training.
An NHA spokesperson stated the HRTC collaborated with several engineering schools, including NUST, on pavement research. The highway authority also wants the FWO Tunneling Institute to join its tunneling research. A prospective 2023–2027 cooperative research plan with the Chinese government is part of CPEC. The scheme promotes roadway engineering collaboration and innovation.
During the PM’s China visit, a formal memorandum of cooperation research extension will be signed.
“We expect it to boost China-Pakistan infrastructure cooperation. The official stated this extension will be a cornerstone of road infrastructure cooperation, with the National Highway Authority leading the way.
The arrangement calls for HRTC Research Institute to be built on 530 acres the NHA bought for Rs520 million.
The official said a Chinese consultant would build the institute with a $52 million (374 million yuans or Rs15 billion) funding. Infrastructure, test track, and indoor/outdoor lab equipment are included. It will be operated by the NHA after completion and training.
Long-term pavement performance will be studied under controlled and uncontrolled situations by the institute. It also includes research projects in reclaimed asphalt, bridges, tunneling, China training and degree courses, and Pakistan engineering design guides and standards.
Prime Minister Kakar will also sign an MOU to upgrade Karakorum Highway (KKH) from Raikot to Thakot, Raikot to Khunjerab (335 km), KKH phase-2 on E-35 from Havelian to Thakot (120 km), and a road from Havelian to Mansehra.
The official added the route would be intended to be open year-round in the second phase of the KKH project, especially in winter when it is closed due to heavy snowfall. The KKH alignment will tunnel over Bhasha Dam rather than impact it.
The PM will propose building a road from Dera Ismail Khan to Zhob near Beijing, while Gwadar port will remain the focus.