Photo taken on May 25, 2018 shows the Multan-Shujaabad section of Multan-Sukkur Motorway in Multan, Pakistan. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday inaugurated the first section of the 392-km Multan-Sukkur Motorway, the largest transportation infrastructure project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Multan in the country's eastern Punjab province.
The prime minister opened the 33-km section spanned from Multan to Shujaabad city for public, which was completed well before the stipulated time.
The six-lane superhighway will connect the country's southern port city of Karachi with northwestern city Peshawar through the populated provinces of Punjab and Sindh.
The motorway also called M-5 is expected cut the travel distance between Multan and Sukkur from 463 km to 392 km, which can be covered in less than four hours at the maximum designed speed of 120 km per hour. The whole project is scheduled to be completed by August 2019.
The fully carpeted superhighway being built with modern technology will have 11 interchanges, 22 toll plazas equipped with latest intelligent technology, six public service areas, five rest areas, 107 underpasses, 188 subways, 100 bridges and other facilities.
Addressing the audience, Abbasi said that the motorway is a symbol of close cooperation between Pakistan and China.
He said CPEC is the implementation of Chinese vision of connectivity and opening up under the Belt and Road Initiative that is bringing great economic opportunities to the region.
On the occasion, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing said that five years after its start, CPEC has become a reality, which is a demonstration of a new level cooperation between China and Pakistan.
Yao told the audience that Chinese companies working at CPEC projects have provided over 100,000 jobs to local people and played their role to uplift people's lives by doing several social welfare works, including restoration and establishment of schools and technical training centers.