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Chinese investment in Pakistan neither loan nor grant: Sharif

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today said that the billions of dollars being pumped-in by close ally China in Pakistan is not a loan or grant but an investment.

"The money being spent by China in Pakistan is not a loan or grant but an investment", the state-run Radio Pakistan website quoted Sharif as saying.

Talking to reporters in London, before leaving for Islamabad, he said that China's investment in Pakistan under a USD 46-billion 3,000 km-long economic corridor project covers construction of motorways and installation of energy projects.

He said new Gwadar city in Balochistan will be built with the cooperation of China and its benefits will be reaped by the entire country.

During President Xi Jinping's maiden visit to Islamabad earlier this month, China had cemented its "all-weather ties" with Pakistan by agreeing to build the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Pakistan occupied Kashmir, expanding the communist giant's influence in the region.

A total of 51 agreements were signed in different fields, including infrastructure projects, energy generation, agriculture, education, telecommunications and research.

Of the 51, 30 agreements were linked to the strategic corridor, regarded as the biggest connectivity project between the two countries after Karakoram highway built in 1979.

It will shorten the route for China's energy imports from the Middle East by about 12,000 kms.

The CPEC will link China's underdeveloped far-western region to Pakistan's Gwadar deep-sea port on the Arabian Sea via PoK through a massive and complex network of roads, railways, business zones, energy schemes and pipelines.

The corridor - expected to be ready in three years and provide about 10,400 MWs of electricity - gives China direct access to the Indian Ocean and beyond.

First Published: Wed, April 29 2015. 20:57 IST