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    Gwadar project: economic and strategic dimensions

    Gwadar port emerges as a place of great strategic value, giving tremendous boost to Pakistan's importance in the whole region, extending from the Persian Gulf through the Indian Ocean to Southeast Asia and the Far East.

    Now that is exciting. Only President Musharraf has been able to get this project and others off the ground, and only he can see to it that they are completed.


    http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/today/business/bn2.htm

    Gwadar project: economic and strategic dimensions

    The Gwadar Project, recently inaugurated by President Musharraf, is the fourth mega project initiated by the present regime for the uplift of the people of Balochistan-Pakistan's strategically important, yet in socio-economic terms, most neglected province. The other three important projects are Mirani Dam, revival of Saindak Project and Coastal Highway.

    Located at the Arabian Sea Coast with vast, arid and extremely backward Mekran Division of Balochistan as hinterland, Gwadar deep sea port, being built with Chinese co-operation, will not only enhance Pakistan's strategic importance in Southwest Asian region, it will usher in a new era of socio-economic development in Balochistan because, as President Pervez Musharraf has rightly pointed out, this area, after the construction of Gwadar Port, will become hub of economic and trade activities in the whole region. The people of Balochistan have for long been in need of such development projects, but unfortunately, almost every past regime had paid only lip service to their demands, doing nothing practically. The need for an alternate deep-sea port has since long been recognised, both from strategic view-point and economic perspectives. Gwadar was the best choice because it offered ideal conditions for building a deep-sea port and secondly, it is situated 470 km away from Karachi, making it less vulnerable to the Indian naval blockade, which Pakistan faced during the 1971 War. Despite the fact that Karachi was increasingly becoming clogged due to heavy cargo, the work on Gwadar suffered from foot-dragging and official apathy. When the military government assumed power, it gave the go ahead and initiated negotiations with China to speed up work on the Gwadar Project. For this purpose, Pakistan's Finance Minister, Mr. Shaukat Aziz visited Beijing in August last year where he signed an agreement with Chinese leaders on the construction of Gwadar deep-sea port and coastal highways. Under the agreement, the Chinese will provide $ 200 million to Pakistan for the construction of the first phase of the project. The total cost would be $ 250 million and the work is proposed to be completed in three years. President Musharraf performed the groundbreaking ceremony of Mekran Coastal Highway, Phase II, Turbat-Mand Road and Mirani Dam on August 17 last year in Gwadar. Pakistan's Minister for Communication, who declared that the area would be made a Free-Trade Zone for exports to the Gulf region, also accompanied the President

    The construction of a deep-sea port at Gwadar is just one component of the Greater Gwadar Plan. Under this Plan, which will be carried out by Gwadar Development Authority, in addition to Gwadar port, a network of roads, connecting Gwadar with Karachi, Pasni , Ormara and Turbat will be constructed in four phases. The Coastal Highway linking Karachi with Gwadar (675 km) is being built simultaneously with the port. Other highways, from Pasni to Gwadar (135km), Ormara-Gwadar (275km) and Gwadar-Turbat (188 km) will be built in Phase II of the project. The first two phases of the project, costing about Rs. 3 billion, will be completed in two to three years. In phase III, Pasni will be connected with Ormara and in the fourth phase, Pasni will be connected to Gupt at the Iranian border. This network of roads will finally be connected with China through the Indus Highway. Under an agreement, Pakistan, China, Kazakhistan, Kyrgizstan and Uzbekistan are already committed to developing extensive railroad links from Central Asia and the Chinese province of Sinkiang to the Arabian Sea Coast. The completion of this communication network will not only facilitate the movement of goods from China and Central Asian Republics to the countries of the Persian Gulf, Middle East, East Africa, the Indian Ocean and beyond through Gwadar, the countries of these regions will also have an easy and short route for access to Central Asia for trade and economic co-operation purposes. In this scenario, Gwadar port emerges as a place of great strategic value, giving tremendous boost to Pakistan's importance in the whole region, extending from the Persian Gulf through the Indian Ocean to Southeast Asia and the Far East.


    From Pakistan's perspective, the construction of the Gwadar port will strengthen its economy and defence. Gwadar is situated at a distance of 470 km westward from Karachi on the Arabian Sea coast, which makes it a bit difficult for the Indian Navy to achieve a naval blockade of Pakistan. The project is being built with Chinese help and co-operation, which will, as President Musharraf said, further strengthen Pak-China friendship. Although Pakistan, during the last about four decades, has provided an opening to China on the countries of the Persian Gulf, Middle East and East Africa, Gwadar will give the Chinese an opportunity to establish for the first time a naval presence in the Arabian Sea and Western part of the Indian Ocean. The Chinese are already comfortably placed in Myanmar in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean; their presence at Gwadar will further increase their naval presence in the Indian Ocean, which has gained strategic prominence in view of America's war on Afghanistan. The Indians as well as Americans seem to be considerably perturbed over the Chinese participation in the Gwadar Project, perceiving it as a bid by the Chinese to gain a strategic footing in the North western part of the Indian Ocean, where the Americans maintain a formidable naval presence through a chain of military bases and concentration of warships and submarines. The Indians have become so alarmed over the Chinese participation in the construction of Gwadar port that their policy makers and strategic planners have strongly urged their government to immediately take measures for the modernisation and up-gradation of the Indian navy, which with two fleets is already the largest naval force in Southeast Asia.

    The Gwadar Project, when completed, will bring urgently needed socio-economic development to the Mekran Division of Balochistan, which is the most backward area of the province. Despite the fact that the region is of great historical and strategic value, it lags far behind the other parts of Balochistan in terms of literacy attainment, health facilities and employment opportunities. There is no industry and because of the lack of water, only a small portion of land is brought under cultivation. Most of the people live in rural areas without essential civic amenities like electricity, safe drinking water and health facilities. The dominant profession is cattle breeding, which has also badly suffered over the last few years due to persistent drought and consecutive failure of rains. The Gulf had been a major source of income for the local people, but due to 1991 War and deteriorating economic conditions in the Arab Sheikhdoms, a large majority of the people from Mekran working in the Gulf countries as skilled and unskilled workers have recently returned.

    The return of expatriates has not only caused a set back to an already fragile economy of the region, it has led to the rise of serious social problems like narcotics use, smuggling, unemployment, crime and alienation among the youth. The implementation of mega projects like Gwadar is, therefore, extremely important in Balochistan and particularly in Mekran, which politically is one of the most sensitive areas of Pakistan. Apart from such benefits like enhancement of strategic value of the country and tangible socio-economic benefits for the people of the region, the implementation of Gwadar Project would restore the credibility of the federal government of Pakistan among the people of Balochistan who, for the last five decades, have been fed on false promises of development. Take for example, Mirani Dam and Saindak Project. The people of Dasht valley have been hearing about the building of a dam on the Dasht River since fifties. Many a time the plans for its construction were announced. But, then, nothing was heard about them. It is only the present government that has taken concrete steps to implement the Mirani Dam Project. Similarly, the Saindak Project has been revived after a delay of two decades. There is a widespread perception among the people of Balochistan, particularly in Mekran division and coastal areas of the province that their areas are deliberately kept underdeveloped by the federal bureaucracy for political reasons. Through implementation of mega projects like Gwadar, the present government will not only cause socio-economic development in the region, it will make an important contribution to the process of national integration.

    #2
    Truly excellent news. Baluchistan has been neglected by far too many governments in the past, both military and democratic.

    It takes a leader like Musharraf, totally dedicated to the betterment of the country and the people, to finally put an end to this neglect and raise Baluchistan to the level of importance and development that it deserves.
    Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
    Al-Ghazali

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by mAd_ScIeNtIsT:
      Truly excellent news. Baluchistan has been neglected by far too many governments in the past, both military and democratic.

      It takes a leader like Musharraf, totally dedicated to the betterment of the country and the people, to finally put an end to this neglect and raise Baluchistan to the level of importance and development that it deserves.
      Exactly. The article makes it clear that The Gwadar Project, recently inaugurated by President Musharraf, is the fourth mega project initiated by the present regime for the uplift of the people of Balochistan-Pakistan's strategically important, yet in socio-economic terms, most neglected province. The other three important projects are Mirani Dam, revival of Saindak Project and Coastal Highway.

      Under President Musharraf stewardship Pakistan is moving full steam ahead, and is destined to become the major regional and strateficg power.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Malik73:
        Under President Musharraf stewardship Pakistan is moving full steam ahead, and is destined to become the major regional and strategic power.

        Well said malik. http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/ok.gif I think Musharaff is a very strong Leader who is committed for the betterment of Pakistani society. No other leader has the necessary skills which he possesses to enable Pakistan to become a Regional Economic Power! President Musharaff's policies have created the ideal environment for many economic development projects to become Reality.

        [This message has been edited by Dil he Pakistani (edited April 15, 2002).]

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Dil he Pakistani:
          No other leader has the necessary skills which he possesses to enable Pakistan to become a Regional Economic Power! President Musharaff's policies have created the ideal environment for many economic development projects to become Reality.

          Pefectely put. If President Musharraf wins the referendum and stays on for five more years, at least Pakistan will be a radically different place fro the better in years to come. We will be the leading West/Central Asian power, the outlet for trade and pipelines from Central Asia. Only under President Musharraf has this dream gone off the ground, and only under him can it be realised.

          Comment


            #6
            - Gwadar port

            - The Makran Coastal Highway

            - Highways, from Pasni to Gwadar, Gwadar to Turbat, Pasni to Ormara and Pasni to the Iranian border.

            - This network of roads to be connected to China through the Indus Highway.

            - Rail links to Central Asia.

            All this massive development planned and now started, with tens of thousands of jobs that will make Makran one of the richest regions in Pakistan. Development that will make Pakistan a strategic-regional power of great influence. All thanks to President Musharraf and his government.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Malik73:
              - Gwadar port

              - The Makran Coastal Highway

              - Highways, from Pasni to Gwadar, Gwadar to Turbat, Pasni to Ormara and Pasni to the Iranian border.

              - This network of roads to be connected to China through the Indus Highway.

              - Rail links to Central Asia.

              All this massive development planned and now started, with tens of thousands of jobs that will make Makran one of the richest regions in Pakistan. Development that will make Pakistan a strategic-regional power of great influence. All thanks to President Musharraf and his government.
              About time to do some development in Baluchistan...

              Comment


                #8
                very good news, and best for the people of that far and neglected area,
                can you imagine, there is no direct road link to Gwader until recent past.

                hope other links like railways virtually connect pakistan to europe by rail if its completed up to central asia. they already have link to EU. that will be another cheap trade and normal route
                it takes time and if we are up for it with dedication. it doesnt matter wether its from army or its general. we need to complete mega proejects dont have to live on politial promises of bullet train(made by NS)



                ------------------
                End is Begining!
                پاکستان پاکستان

                Comment


                  #9
                  Having the Chinese around to ofset the Indians will be a big plus in every aspect of Pakistani defense.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    .

                    Comment


                      #11
                      • China gives Loan to Pakistan for Deep Seaport.

                        Pakistan, China Sign $118m Loan for Gwadar Project

                        BEIJING: China and Pakistan signed an agreement here on Thursday under which the Exim Bank of China will provide $118 million to Pakistan for construction of Gwadar Deep Seaport.

                        Chairman Exim Bank Yang Zilin signed the agreement, while Pakistanís side was represented by Riaz Muhammad Khan, Pakistanís ambassador to China.

                        Official sources told APP that the total financial package to be provided by China for the Gwadar project is $198 million, which includes a grant of $49 million, and $31 million interest free credit.

                        It was also agreed that the two sides would take all necessary steps ensuring timely completion of the project.

                        "The Gwadar project will be another landmark and a shining example of Sino-Pak friendship and their cooperation in various sectors,Ē said the Pakistani ambassador while speaking at the signing ceremony here at the State Guest House.

                        He said President Pervez Musharraf and Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji are taking personal interest in the construction of the Gwadar Port.

                        Mr Khan said the Gwadar seaport is very significant, not only for Pakistanís economic progress but also for development of trade links with Central Asian States.

                        The ambassador also referred to Chinaís assistance in some other major pubic sector projects in Pakistan like, White Pipeline, Saindak copper and gold project, Thar coal project and the modernization of Pakistan Railways.

                        Chairman Exim Bank, Yang Zilin in his remarks said the Bank would continue to take active part in the development of Pakistan. He said the Chinese leaders attached great importance to the economic development of Pakistan and wished to strengthen the bilateral cooperation for the welfare of their people.

                        The construction of the first phase of Gawadar Deep Seaport has been undertaken by China Harbour Engineering Company Group (CHEC) on Build Operate Transfer basis. It is scheduled to be completed by 2005 in two phases.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Good news, I read somewhere that locals have named part of the coastal highway after Zubedia Jalal in honour of all the work she has done for her constituency since Prez Musharraf made her Minister.

                        On another note, I think recruitment for mega projects should focus on locals or overseas Pakistanis from that area in this case Makran). That'll reduce the dependency on exporting labour and stop locals from feeling threatened by what will be a huge number of people entering the area.
                        How can a man die better than facing fearful odds for the ashes of his fathers and the Temple of his Gods?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          From what I have read Gwadur Port is scheduled to be completed in two years time, in 2005 so it is well on its way to being completed? Inshallah, with the grace of Allah this will be completed on time, and its completion will be a major developmental achievment not just for Musharraf and Jamali, but crucially for Balochistan and for the strategic importance of Pakistan.

                          But in parrallel to this we have the 675km Makran Coastal Highway from Karachi to Gwadur is being built. Does anyone know when that is due to be completed? Before Gwadur port is completed?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Malik73:
                            But in parrallel to this we have the 675km Makran Coastal Highway from Karachi to Gwadur is being built. Does anyone know when that is due to be completed? Before Gwadur port is completed?
                            Malik,

                            I think Makran Coastal Highway is going to be build side by side with Gawadar Port because this would be main Highway to connect Karachi-Gawadar-Makran.

                            From what I read about Gawadar Project, is based on two phases: Phase I is expected to be complete in 2004 and Phase II in 2006-07.
                            • Here's a two years old analysis of Gwadar Phase I and II, taking from DAWN. I just pointed out statements regarding Phase II. You can read rest of the article.

                              Developing A Regional Hub at Gwadar

                              The GIC facing violent vicissitudes finally invited international tenders for Phase-I on a finance-cum-construct basis, and for Phase-II works to be financed through the private sector on BOO/BOT basis.

                              ---------------------------------

                              According to the estimated cost of 1996, Rs6,143 million were required for Phase-I (with Rs4,300 million as foreign currency component) and Rs18,020 million for Phase-II (with Rs12,614 million as foreign currency component). The project required a total in excess of Rs24,000 million according to the estimate of the cost calculated some four years back. Keeping in view inflation and other factors contributing in price increase, the cost may have increased manifold.

                              -----------------------------------

                              The project attracts a large number of foreign as well as domestic investors and financiers including oil stockers in the region.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              • Here's a story guys about Future Gwadar Port.

                                "Gwader Port Project" and its future as Bigger than Dubai

                                The April 2002 inauguration of Gwadar seaport with Chinese collaboration in southern Balochistan on the Arabian Sea coast is likely to open up new vistas of cooperation and development in the region. The port is strategically located on the opposite end of the Gulf of Oman and the Straits of Hormuz on the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

                                China is involved in the construction and development of the above seaport on the Arabian coastline. Once completed and functional, it may have positive spin off for the Chinese western Muslim Autonomous Republic of Xinjiang, formerly called Eastern Turkestan. The republic of Xinjiang is contiguous to Central Asian countries, viz, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

                                With nearly 35 percent of share in international trade, China is a leading country in textile production, contributing to one-fifth of the world's garment industry. The garment export in 2001 increased to $36.1 billion -- nearly 50 times from 1978. Currently, China's eastern seaboard region is the hub of economic activity. Xinjiang region suffers from economic under-development and some separatist trends from its dominant Uighur Muslims. Hence, China is thinking of seriously catapulting the region into fast track development.

                                Building of the Karakorum Highway in the 1970s linking Xinjiang with the northern regions of Pakistan and now the proposed development of Gwadar seaport in southern Balochistan along the Arabian Sea could be another hallmark of Sino-Pakistan friendship. Needless to say that the Chinese have an admirable record of completing major projects in time with their friends.

                                In the next decade or so, China intends to earmark $90 billion for developing its mid-west and western regions. Last year, $200 billion was loaned to western regions for infrastructure development, proximate to Pakistan's northern region. Incidentally, the southern tip of Xinjiang is as far away as 4500 km to the eastern coast of China whereas it is only 2500 km from the port of Pakistan. This makes it feasible and cost-effective to carry out trade (exports and imports) through ports that are neighbouring to the Gulf, Africa, Central Asia and Europe.

                                The Gwadar port project was started in 1992 but was held up in abeyance due to political instability in Pakistan, following change of the Nawaz Sharif government. Initially, Holland was approached for financing the project but to no avail. Later, Oman was approached, which has a large Balochi population. Although Sultan Qaboos expressed interest in the development of the region, the Opposition parties in Pakistan assailed the government for 'handing' the port over to the US government after the end of Iran-Iraq war and the increased US interests in the Gulf.

                                It is conjectured that once the Gwadar port complex is completed, nearly twenty countries of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia could benefit from the mega-project. The complex will provide facilities of warehousing, trans-shipment, transit and coastal trade, commercial and industrial openings for international export-import trade. This is especially from and to Afghanistan, the CARs, Persian Gulf states, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Iran and other countries.

                                The Chinese government is providing a soft loan of $198 million while the Pakistani government has contributed $50 million for the first phase of this mega- project that would be completed in three phases in three years. Of late, Balochistan, a neglected and backward province, has started getting increased attention from the Pakistani government. It has, for example, five modern airports, with several flights a week, linking Mekran with the rest of the country and the Gulf region. A modern mini-port is under operation at Pasni.

                                The Chinese are also helping in laying the White Oil Pipeline project from Port Qasim near Karachi to Muhmood Kot near Multan. This pipeline is to be constructed with the collaboration of Pak-Arab Pipeline Company (PAPCO) and China Petroleum and Engineering Construction Company (CPECC) with transport of 12 million tonnes of white oil products across Pakistan that would fulfil 75 per cent of Pakistani oil and transportation needs.


                                Allied to Gwadar, the coastal region of Balochistan is also expected to get an economic boost with the construction of a 700-km coastal highway, linking Karachi on the east with Jiwani to the west, close to the Iranian border. Pakistani's National Highway Authority (NHA) and the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) are charged with the responsibility to build this road that will ultimately link Gwadar with the rest of the world. This will start simultaneously and will be completed by the time the port is built in three years time.

                                Establishment of railway link with Gwadar to Taftan in Iran via Saindak is being planned. Saindak, the first metallurgical project, lying dormant since 1995 for production of copper and gold, is being revived with the Chinese help at the cost of $30 million. A parallel road from Gwadar to Saindak, running parallel to the Iran-Pakistan border will make it the shortest route to reach Central Asia from the warm waters of Arabian Sea. Another 515-km long highway connecting Gwadar via Panjgpur, Khaan, Chaghi and Rabat up to Herat in eastern Afghanistan is on the drawing boards. This would link up Pakistan directly by road with the CARs.

                                The Saindak project aims at production of gold and blister copper. In the event a refinery is not set up in the region, the blister copper will have to be transported to China and then the refined product brought back for export, which will entail high expenditure. Also, alternatively, it would have to secure the services of a refinery in Surchasma copper plant in neighbouring Iran, which is also expensive.

                                After the completion of the seaport, successful marketing of the port management to potential customers, building of export processing zone, trans-shipment and warehousing facilities, fixing of port tariffs for shipping companies in order to be competitive, there is a need for a professional and well qualified human resource port staff. Also, construction of Mirani Dam for power and irrigation is being started soon.

                                All these positive developments if and when brought to fruition may ultimately help the CARs to actively participate as ECO members and help open channels through Pakistan by minimising the Russian routes. For Afghanistan, a landlocked country and desperately needing export outlet, the construction of Gwadar port complex will help in boosting economic rehabilitation and activity. Any movement of goods to and fro from Balochistan will benefit Afghan transit trade as well as the former's export of minerals and dry fruit. Besides, the port facilities could provide Afghanistan and the CARs warehousing facilities along with transit and possibilities of import of goods.

                                In order to become an entrepot, Gwadar port could also help in promoting tourism, spawning of ancillary industries such as fishing, shipbuilding and marine industry. It could set up export-free and industrial zones. But for this to eventuate, the political situation in Afghanistan has to normalise soon and the war-wrecked country to return to a modicum of peace and stability. In addition, the launching of such ambitious plans for the development of Gwadar seaport could serve as a catalyst for fast track development and transformation of Balochistan from a primitive, tribal society into 21st century. Thus the plans for the development of Gwadar port through the Chinese support and help is an auspicious start, albeit it should have been done by governments right after Pakistan's independence. Still, better late than never.

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