Gilgit-Baltistan: Pak-China Joint Venture of Road & Rail Links to Boost Trade & Tourism

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Islamabad (APP): The modern road and rail link between Pakistan and China will not only help boost trade and industrial activity in the region but will also help in promoting tourism in Pakistan, especially in Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and coastal areas of Makran.
Pakistan and China have recently agreed to establish an economic corridor between Kashgar in China and Gwadar in Pakistan.
This $18 billion joint venture will include road and rail links passing through the mighty Karakorum and Himalayas in the northern Pakistan.
Elaborating the importance of this link for boosting fragile tourism industry in the country, President Sustainable Tourism Foundation Aftab Rana told APP that this road and rail route will pass through the most spectacular mountain ranges where we have world renowned high mountain peaks, glaciers and beautiful valleys.
He said improved accessibility created through this modern road and rail network will also attract large number of tourists from across the globe and especially from China which has already achieved the No 1 position in outbound tourism market in the world with over 70 million Chinese travelling abroad each year.
Aftab Rana said especially the rail route along the Karakorum Highway has great potential to become one of the top 10 rail journeys in the world because of the incredible landscape value of this region.
Similarly the railway link between Kashgar and Gwadar passing through the mighty Karakuram will defiantly attract millions of tourists, foreign as well as domestic, he added.
He urged that while planning this rail link, the government should also pay special attention to develop the areas along the route with the tourism point of view.
“While developing tourism industry along this rail link, other businesses such as hotels, restaurants, transport, handicrafts, shopping, local recreational resorts and local entrepreneurs get simultaneously boosted and create thousands of new jobs and income generating opportunities for common people,” he said.
He suggested that tourist destinations in Gilgit-Baltistan should be specially focused in the near future.
This railway network will not only play a key role in the economic uplift of our country but will also open doors of prosperity for the people of remote mountainous areas giving boost to our sluggish tourism industry.

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