A fiber optic cable linking China and Pakistan will be completed by June 2018 at a cost of $44m, Pakistani newspapers reported last week.
The 820km fiber optic cable from Rawalpindi to Khunjrab on the Pakistan-China border will convert the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into a digital corridor, The News International and The Express Tribune said.
The Pakistan-China Optical Fiber Cable Project is being completed in collaboration between Chinese networking and telecoms equipment provider Huawei and Pakistan's Special Communication Organization (SCO), explained Muhammad Adil, senior project manager for SCO.
Adil said that the project will provide a new strategic link between the two countries, and in addition to generating revenue it will also become a secure route for voice traffic.
The cable will provide Pakistan with direct telecom access to China and Central Asian States, and from there to Europe and to and from the United States.
A ground breaking ceremony in May marked the official start of cable laying for the project.
The fiber optic cable will reach Rawalpindi from Khunjrab via Karimabad, Gilgit, Chilas, Babusar Top, Naran, Mansehra and JeryKas.
Meanwhile, a related project to expand the fiber optic cable to the port city of Gwadar is in the final phase of approval. This would provide an international link along the entire route of the CPEC.