ISLAMABAD: On the special request and efforts of MNA Shahzada Iftikharudin, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed the NHA to carry out a survey of Mastuj-Broghil-Khunjerab road for inclusion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Under a long-term strategic plan, the road starting from Mastuj and passing through the Yarkhun and Broghil valleys of Chitral will link Pakistan to China through the Khunjerab pass in Gilgit-Baltistan. This will serve as another all-weather alternative route to CPEC.
In a directive, the PM Office asked the secretary planning, development and reforms for the survey of the road and its inclusion in the CPEC’s long-term strategic plans.
It may be recalled that during the prime minister’s visit to Chitral in Sept 2016, MNA Shahzada Iftikhar, among other vital projects, had requested him to include the Broghil road in CPEC.
Since then, the MNA has been pursuing the vital project and in his latest communication reminded Nawaz Sharif of his consent to the request.
The MNA persuaded the PM, the planning division and the NHA to start the survey process by presenting the benefits of the Broghil road as an alternative CPEC route.
He said that compared to the 806 km Khunjerab-Gilgit-Burhan road, the proposed Broghil-Mastuj-Burhan road would be 600 km, ie over 200 km shorter.
He said Mastuj was already connected with Broghil through a 148 km road which needs to be extended by 30 to 40 km from Broghil lake via two small tunnels to reach the Chiparsun valley near Khunjerab pass at the Pak-China border.
At Broghil, the road can also be extended westward to the Wakhan corridor to link Pakistan with the Central Asian countries and even Russia has shown interest in it.
New road project included in PSDP
On the request of the MNA, the PM Office also ordered the inclusion of the Shagram-Terich-Lot Ovir truck-able black topped road in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2017-18.
Meanwhile, people of Yarkhun have thanked the MNA for tirelessly working to include the road in CPEC. They said it would usher in a new era of progress and development in the far-off and backward area.