Pakistan and China are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the upgrading and realignment of the Thakot-Raikot section of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. This significant development will occur during the upcoming visit of the caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar to China.
The Thakot-Raikot section, a crucial segment of the Karakoram Highway, is expected to undergo substantial transformation. This route, connecting Thakot and Raikot, plays a pivotal role in the broader KKH and the CPEC infrastructure network, serving as a vital link between Pakistan and Chinese trade and commerce.
The Karakoram Highway, spanning 1,300 kilometers, was constructed over 16 years from 1962 to 1978, with 806 kilometers in Pakistan. In 2005, Pakistan and China initiated an effort to upgrade this iconic highway, and Phase I of the upgrade from Raikot to Khunjerab was completed in November 2013.
The CPEC’s second phase involved the transformation of the E-35 section from Havelian to Thakot, covering about 120 kilometers. This development introduced a motorway section that connects Havelian to Mansehra, streamlining travel and exemplifying both nations’ commitment to efficient transportation infrastructure.
The ongoing development of the KKH symbolizes the strong bond between Pakistan and China, highlighting their shared commitment to cooperation, development, and prosperity. The Thakot-Raikot section is on the verge of significant changes, including state-of-the-art tunnels to reduce travel time and enhance safety. The road’s classification will also be upgraded, promising swifter and more efficient travel. This development has the potential to revolutionize cargo transport, making it more efficient and cost-effective while supporting heavier cargo loads.