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QUETTA: The western route of the China-Paki­stan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would connect the port city of Gwadar with Quetta via Khuzdar, would be completed by 2018, said National Highway Autho­rity (NHA) Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar on Tuesday.

He told Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri that 95 per cent of construction work on Gwadar-Ratodero road had been completed. However, he said, security was needed to complete all road projects (in the province) in time.

The CM assured Mr Tarar that his government would provide security to engineers, technical staff and labourers involved in the execution of CPEC and other road projects.

During their meeting, Mr Zehri and the NHA head discussed ongoing road projects in Balochistan, particularly those related to the economic corridor.

The CPEC is a 3,000-km network of roads, railways and oil and gas pipelines from Gwadar port to Kashgar city in north-western China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Gwadar is the port of origin and starting point for the CPEC.

The meeting reviewed pace of work on ongoing road projects in Balochistan and decided to accelerate it to ensure timely completion of the roads, which would link Gwadar port with rest of the country.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2016