BRI enters new phase as Pakistan puts ‘blind trust’ in China

CPEC Chinese China Pakistani flags

During a visit to China’s Belt and Road Forum last week, Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar agreed on a number of agreements, but experts warned that financial constraints and security threats could still hinder the projects, ANI reported quoting Nikkei Asia.

Kakar while meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping called Pakistan’s partnership with the world’s No. 2 economy “made in heaven.”

“We will always stand with China and trust you blindly,” Kakar was quoted as saying by ANI.

The biggest move was an agreement to start work on the long-awaited Main Line 1 (ML-1) railway project, a plan to upgrade over 1,700 kilometres of track between Karachi and Peshawar. All told, the two sides signed 20 pacts and memoranda of understanding on a range of plans, according to Moin ul-Haq, Pakistan’s envoy to Beijing, as per Nikkei Asia, quoted by ANI.

Other endeavours include a USD 1.5 billion investment by the United Energy Group of China to boost Pakistan’s refinery capacity, along with a project to turn the Khunjerab Pass, a trade route between the neighbours that closes in winter due to snow, into an all-weather border.

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