China will construct 58 schools and 30 hospitals in the tribal region in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing has said. "It is the top priority for the Chinese government to develop the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's backward areas," Yao was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
"The Chinese government has approved construction of 58 schools in erstwhile FATA and 30 hospitals in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Our forefathers belong to the region now known as the northern areas of Pakistan. Hence it is our top priority to develop these areas," Jing said on Saturday while speaking at the national seminar on Friends of Silk Road.
The FATA, which consisted of seven tribal districts and six frontier regions, was merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in 2017.
"There is a need of peace and stability in the region so that Chinese firms execute dream project of linking Quetta, Chaman to Gwadar and Peshawar to Kabul and onwards to Kazakhstan through railway tracks," he said.
Noting that Pakistan and China are working on 10 agriculture projects, Yao urged the Higher Education Institutions to come up with proposals to establish the 10 agriculture labs in the country through Planning Commission and Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC).
Yao said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would play a vital role to make the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) dream come true.
"Peshawar would be the gateway to the central Asia in the region and in near future the rail tracks from Karachi to Peshawar would be upgraded along with the new rail systems," he said.
The CPEC, launched in 2015, is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China's resource-rich Xinjiang with Pakistan's strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea. India has raised objection over the CPEC as it passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).