China, Pak firm up plans for ‘Azad’ Kashmir eco corridor

KJM Varma
Beijing: China and Pakistan firmed up plans to construct the 2000-km economic corridor linking them through Pakistan-administered-Kashmir (PaK).
China would like to enhance cooperation with Pakistan on terrorism and expressed hope it will provide security for Chinese organisations and personnel in Pakistan, Premier Li Keqiang told his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif during a meeting at Boao.
Li said China is ready to work with Pakistan to complete a long-term plan by the end of this year to build a bilateral economic corridor, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
He significantly aired China’s security concerns during his meeting with Sharif on Thursday yesterday on the sidelines of the 2014 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held in south China’s Hainan Province.
Li said the two countries agreed to make the building of the corridor the focus of bilateral practical cooperation, and the consensus is conducive to forging a China-Pakistan “community of shared destiny”.
The corridor connecting Kashgar in China’s volatile Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to the southwestern Pakistani port of Gwadar through PaK was proposed in a bilateral agreement signed during Li’s visit to Pakistan in May 2013.
China will also work with Pakistan to provide financial support for the construction of the corridor, Li said.
Sharif said Pakistan will focus on promoting the corridor construction and spare no efforts to ensure the security of the Chinese people and organisations in Pakistan.
He said Pakistan is ready to further strategic cooperation with China and noted the relationship with China is the “cornerstone” of Pakistan’s diplomacy and the two countries are all-weather and long-tested friends.
Pakistan will make concerted efforts with China to fully implement cooperative deals between the two sides, he said.—PTI