To go with story 'Pakistan-China-economy-transport, FEATURE' by Guillaume LAVALL
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SOST, Pakistan: A glossy highway and hundreds of trucks transporting Chinese workers by the thousands: The new Silk Road is under construction in northern Pakistan, but locals living on the border have yet to be convinced that they will receive more from it than dust.It is the first stop along a new $46 billion "economic corridor" designed by China in Pakistan.From there, Pakistani colleagues pick up the goods and transport them the length of the country – currently to Karachi, some 2,000 kilometers away on the Arabian Sea, but in the future to Gwadar, where Beijing has been given management of the port in a grand project allowing China greater access to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.But, until recently, the highway was cut off just south of Sost, blocked for five years by a landslide that dammed the Hunza river and birthed the 10 kilometer long lake of Attabad, with its blue glacier water. In the neighboring Chinese region of Xinjiang, Beijing is monitoring Muslim Uighurs, saying that extremists from the minority are in hiding in Pakistan – a claim that has been supported by local security sources.Mohammad Qasim, an Uighur now living in Gilgit whose angular face is woven with wrinkles, remembers leaving Xinjiang as a child to seek refuge in Pakistan after China's communist revolution.
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