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Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable Project Inaugurated

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk inaugurated the Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) project that would serve as the first land-based communication link between the two countries, a media report said. The project that has been completed in two years will help develop the telecom sector in Gilgit-Baltistan region, besides contributing to the enhancement of security of the schemes falling under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), reports Dawn news.

The project includes an 820 km-long underground OFC from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab and a 172-km aerial OFC link from Karimabad to Khunjerab. The project being launched as part of the CPEC also has 26 high-capacity microwave links as backup to the OFC network and nine node centres in different locations. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony here on Friday, Mulk said: “The project will contribute to provision of state-of-the-art ICT (information and communication technologies) facilities to far-flung areas of the country.”

He hailed the project as one of strategic importance as it would help in “developing telecom sector in Northern Areas and regions along the CPEC route”. The project would “play a pivotal role for security requirements of CPEC projects”, Dawn quoted Mulk as saying.

In his address, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said that OFC was one of the nine projects to be completed under the CPEC. He said the CPEC would have a digital corridor as well. The director general of the Special Communication Organisation, Maj Gen Amir Azim Bajwa, on the occasion said a communication link had been established with the Chinese side on the border that had been successfully tested for end-to-end connectivity.

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