The Pakistani Government has given the go ahead for the Lowari road tunnel project, an important link in a 1,300km road project to link the country with Tajikistan.

The tunnel will connect Chitral in the North-West Frontier Province to Pakistan with the rest of the country.

Work will begin in 15 days and will be carried out by a Korean construction firm.

An earlier proposal to build a rail tunnel instead of a road tunnel was rejected due to issues such as shortage of electricity, high maintenance cost of rail, discontinuity of the NHA road network and impossibility of loading heavy vehicles on the rail.

Converting the tunnel into road will also save the country Rs 1.5bn, according to officials.