Road to China via Baltistan proposed
12 April 2004
GILGIT: Border trade and development of the region will get an impetus if a road to China from Muzaffarabad via Skardu is built, Northern Areas Legislative Council member Farida Batool said on Monday. Talking to newsmen, she said it was the right time to consider the project in view of the ceasefire along the Line of Control. She said China was investing billions of dollars in Xingiang and Pakistan could benefit from it by constructing highways for its exports. She said the Karakoram Highway was the only road to China and Beijing had promised to help widen it but the Islamabad-Muzaffarabad-Skardu- Yarqand (China) road would reduce the distance by 500km. 'The highway would shorten the distance between Chinese ports and Karachi by 2,000km and its construction would prove to be a turning point in the development of northern Pakistan and Kashmir,' she said. She said the highway could also be extended to the Central Asian states. Ms Batool urged the Azad Kashmir government to help make the project a reality.