Two sections of the new E35 highway, the first link on the China-Pakistan economic corridor, opened to traffic on December 27, 2017. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi attended the opening ceremony in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northwestern Pakistan, reports cctv.com.
In his speech at the opening of the highway, the Prime Minister thanked the Chinese government and Chinese companies for their help in the construction of the first high-quality highway in northern Pakistan. He said that the project would deepen the friendship between the two countries.
The 40km stretch of six-lane asphalt concrete road was jointly built by China Gezhouba Group Corporation and Pakistan GRC. The two sections that have opened will cut in half the travel time between the northern city of Havelian and the country’s capital Islamabad, from three hours down to an hour and a half. The remaining 20km of the highway is still under construction by Pakistan.
The E35 highway is linked to the north with the Karakoram Highway project, which is under construction. It also connects with the extension to the Karakorum Highway, which is already open to traffic, to tie together the China-Pakistan economic corridor in northern Pakistan.
The highway will play a significant role in improving the road conditions in the north of the country. The road will promote local economic development, and in turn improve the livelihood of the local people.
Chinese premier Li Keqiang first proposed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor during a visit to Pakistan in May 2013 with the goal of strengthening exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in areas such as transportation and energy. The project was launched on April 20, 2015.