The Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier Frontier Project Continues

Pakistan says it will fence 92 percent of the 2,611 kilometers of the country's border region with Afghanistan by the end of 2018. The hope, the unilateral effort could effectively deal with both countries' complaints about militant attacks. Most of the borders of the two countries are not maintained.

The military-led development effort began earlier this year. It has now been constructed a fence of about 150 kilometers on the border that is identified as "very vulnerable" to a terrorist infiltration.

A pair of 2.7 meter high wire fences, 1.8 meters high, and above is equipped with barbed wire, stretching along the rugged terrain and snow-capped mountains over 3,657 meters high. Officials estimate the fencing project will cost around 550 million dollars

"Our target is to finish by the end of 2018," Major General Asif Ghafoor told VOA. He explained that the fence would be built along 2,400 kilometers from all borders with Afghanistan because the rest could not be fenced off.

Additional checkpoints and small fortresses are also being built and equipped with high-tech surveillance systems to enable troops to monitor and detect at any time. [ka]

The Thailand-China Railway Development Project Starts

The construction of the Thailand-China railway line that will connect Thailand, Laos and China, officially begins Thursday, with a groundbreaking ceremony in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, to the northeast Thailand.

The 250 km (155 miles) fast rail line from Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima, which is the first phase of the long-awaited project, is expected to start operating in 2021.

The entire railway line is expected to be 873 kilometers The project is part of China's ambitious infrastructure development plan aimed at building a modern "Silk Road" to connect China with Southeast Asian countries and Central Asia by road and the Middle East and Europe by sea.

But the Thai project has been delayed since the beginning of the talks (19659003) "Thailand is evolving in every aspect to become a connectivity center … and this route will connect Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to China, India and to other countries, "Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said at the time of the groundbreaking ceremony for the first 3.5km build of the line.

The first lane construction is expected to take six months, Thailand's Transport Ministry said.

Thailand signed two 157 million dollar contracts in September, with Chinese state-owned enterprises to design projects and hire technical advisors from China. [fw]