Pak-China discuss rail line to connect PoK with Xinjiang

Last Updated: Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 23:19

Beijing: Pakistan and China have started
discussion on building a cross-border railway linking northern
areas of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (POK) with Kashgar, an old
Chinese Silk road town in the restive northwestern Xinjiang
province.

Masood Khan, Pakistan`s Ambassador to China, said that a
feasibility study of the railway had been conducted but there
was still no time-table for starting the construction.

"By using this option, you can shorten China`s trading
routes from the Gulf to Shanghai by about 5,000 miles. It is
very short," Pakistan state-run APP news agency quoted Khan as
telling the Chinese media.

He said talks about a cross border pipeline that can
carry oil and gas to China via inland Eurasia have also begun.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who concluded his
three day visit to the troubled Chinese province last week,
said the region plays a strategic role in firming up the
relationship between China and Pakistan.

China has blamed militants of the East Turkistan Islamic
Movement (ETIM) trained in Pakistan based terror camps for
creating unrest in Muslim Uygur majority in Xinjiang.
Pakistan`s Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, who
is here on an official visit, underlined the need to change
strategy to counter ETIM militants.

"They (terrorists outfits) keep on changing their
strategies and actions. So we must work in close collaboration
and also change our actions, and that can only be done through
close coordination and mutual understanding," Awan told the
Chinese media.

With better coordinated efforts, we can curtail
terrorism, she said, condemning the recent attacks by the
banned ETIM militants in Kashgar, close to PoK. China is
already helping Pakistan and has always supported its efforts
to eliminate the menace, she was quoted as saying by APP.

Pakistan Information Minister underlined that Pakistan is
committed to fight terrorism and has always supported steps to
ensure peace and stability in the region.

Awan said China and Pakistan are working in close
coordination for peace in the region and both the countries
have mechanism in place for intelligence sharing to stamp out
scourge of terrorism and extremism.
Awan said APP was planning to formulate specific segment
of news sharing in Chinese language. She said Pakistan was in
"talks to give landing rights" to Chinese state-run TV channel
CCTV as given to international electronic media outlets.

The minister said that we are also examining how the
Chinese language programmes in Pakistan vis-a-vis Pakistani
programmes, including drama, documentaries, arts and culture
and youth programmes can be telecast in each other countries.
"We want deep interaction between Radio Pakistan and
China Radio International (CRI)," she noted.

"Most importantly, we are seeking the help of Chinese
government in establishing Media University where we can
impart trainings to media professionals in various fields as
this would help better orientations for them," Awan said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 23:19

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