Islamabad, May 19: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable Project which is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Radio Pakistan reported.
The $44 million, 820-kilometre-long cable project stretching from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab in Gilgit-Baltistan, will be completed by the Special Communication Organisation in two years.
The project, which will provide an alternate telecommunication route between Pakistan and China, will also bring 3G and 4G connectivity to Gilgit region, Sharif said while addressing the ground-breaking ceremony function in Gilgit.
India has already expressed its objection to the proposed corridor as it will pass through Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a region which is disputed between the two south Asian neighbours.
Sharif also inaugurated the Gilgit-Baltistan CPEC patrolling police headquarters in Gilgit.
The patrolling force comprising 300 personnel will help regulate traffic along a 439 km stretch of the CPEC in the area. China has provided 25 vehicles for the patrolling force.
The premier announced the establishment of a technical training institute in the region. “We will initially set aside Rs.100 million for this project,” he said.
Sharif stressed the need for preparedness for a newer knowledge-based economy. “These development projects will help reduce extremism,” he said, pointing towards lack of employment as a driver of militancy.