820-kilometer long Pak-China fiber optic link activated for commercial use

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February 2, 2019
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The 820-kilometer long Pak-China fiber link project has finally entered its commercial stage. The link will stretch from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab for commercial use.

This project will play a vital role in the commercialization of Pak-China projects. A spokesperson from Special Communications Organisations (SCO) on Friday said that this cable will link Pakistan and China to the rest of the world. He further added, “The completion of the project holds milestone importance.”

This mega project cost a lot, according to reports the expenditure on this project accumulated to a whopping $44 million which was covered by 85% concessionary loan from the Exim Bank of China. The procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of this project was Huawei while the project is owned by a Pakistan military-run SCO and its engineering unit.

This project is unprecedented in many ways, other than its scale and logistics it is also the first cross-border contact between the two neighbors The SCO spokesperson on this occasion highlighted the fact that this project will dramatically help improve the internet traffic from China, Middle East to Africa and Europe.

Starting from Islamabad, the 18.2 kilometers portion of the cable will pass, 466 kilometers in Gilgit-Baltistan, 280 kilometers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and 47 kilometers of the cable will pass through Punjab. The cable will also pass from Khunjerab via Karimabad, Gilgit, Chilas, Babusar Top, Naran, Mansehra, and JaryKas to reach Islamabad.

This project holds immense potential for Pakistan’s economy as the completion of this project will convert the trade corridor into a digital-corridor which will play a huge part in Pakistan’s digital economy. If the new government can prioritize transformation of the digital landscape of Pakistan then the country can witness a definitive upward trend in its digital economy, fulfilling the predictions that we have been hearing about IT taking Pakistan out of the predicament and towards a more prosperous future.

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