Nawaz Sharif assures Li Keqiang over security of Chinese workers in Pakistan

 Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif assured China over protection of its workers and investements in developing the strategic Gwadar port that will provide the

PTI| Updated: Dec 18, 2015, 22:39 PM IST

Beijing: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif assured China over protection of its workers and investements in developing the strategic Gwadar port that will provide the
Communist giant a much-sought opening to oil-rich Gulf, saying a special security division has been set up for the purpose.

Sharif, who was in Zhengzhou -- capital of China's Henan Province -- early this week to attend a meet of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), assured Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that in addition to the special security division the Gwadar security force has been mobilised under the command of a Brigadier.

Pakistan's Gwadar port, a deep sea port that sits next to the Strait of Hormuz -- a key oil route in and out of the Persian Gulf -- is being developed by China as part of the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project linking the two nations, despite opposition from India as the corridor passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Sharif said the progress achieved in developing the port is a good beginning for initiating the process for building the economic zone.

China plans to make Gwadar a transportation hub by building a 3,000-kilometre railway track linking the Xinjiangregion in western China with the port.

Implementation on the CPEC and energy and infrastructure development projects in Pakistan also featured during the meeting, state-run china.org.cn reported.

Sharif expressed satisfaction with the progress on CEPC and said Pakistan wanted all the projects to be implemented timely and efficiently. 

He said Pakistan would like China to allow Islamabad to open a trade-cum-visa office in Urumqi, the provincial capital of Xinjiang, to facilitate implementation of CPEC projects and people-to-people exchanges.

He said CEPC would prove a game-changer in the region. "It will create new opportunities for employment and end poverty."