Pakistan's Western corridor.

Kaptaan

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Pakistan's geography is elongated and runs along a 1,200 miles north-south axis. The River Indus roughly runs through the centre also along this axis and forms the countries spine. Most of the Western axis is covered by Khyber Pakhtunkwa and Balochistan provinces with the eastern corridor dominated by Punjab and Sindh on the Arabian Sea. Although you can include Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir also in the north.

Traditionally the western axis has underdeveloped. Most of this goes to the fact that the British treated this the western axis as their frontier of the empire. A region to build forts, barracks and fortifications to prevent any Russian intrusion from Central Asia.

However change is afoot. From the north all the way to the south on the newly built Gwadar seaport a major transport infra is taking shape. Some sections are completed whilst others are work in progress. The region has varied topography, alpine mountains, high altitude deserts, rocky hills, Mediteranean style rolling countryside, deserts on the Arabian Sea. So building this corridor is not easy but things are panning out now.

Once completed it will help to develop the entire western axis and provide direct link to Gwadar thus giving a alternate to the eastern corridor.

I begin by covering the M15 which was completed last year. Some sections are still being worked on. To give you example of the change this will bring in the Hazara region 7 hours time has been reducerd to just over 2 hours.

M15 in RED.


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Kaptaan

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M-16 in Yellow

Start point near Peshawar heading north into mountains of Swat. Most of Swat had fallen to Talioban control just a decade ago. Since then entire region has been cleaned out of Talibs and M-16 driven through the Hindu Kush mountains via the Lowari tunnel and will link up Chitral with Tajikistan in Central Asia through Wakhan corridor.


M1 in Pink.

This runs from near the Afghan border/Peshawar to Islamabad. Most of these links I have given are in Khyber Pakhtunkwa Province. All are Build Operate Transfer. Meaning the government only pays for buying the land. Private companies mostly joint ventures between Pakistan, Turkish or Chinese companies build then and recoup the costs from tolls on 25 year contracts. The Turkish company Limak is heavily involved in these projects.




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Kaptaan

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Great news. The northern portion of the Western Corridor composed of the M-14 motorway is almost complete. It should open by November this year if not later. Just some final works are needed and traffic has began to flow along one side already although there small bits missing. The Indus River near Mianwali is complete with just finishing needed. As mentioned before M-14 begins on outskirts of Islamabad and ends in DI Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkwa. When other sections are completed of the Western Corridor it will terminate at Gwadar on Arabian Sea bringing profound change in Pakistan's economic and social future as western regions will begin to grow. You will be able to drive the 800 miles from Islamabad to Gwadar without any fuss.

 

kumata

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Good to see CPEC money showing results on ground finally....
 

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