THIS is about the $54billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, which has been enhanced to $62bn and may further go up to $80bn plus.
Back in 2000, the investment climate in Gwadar changed and the construction of a seaport was announced. Investors flocked to Gwadar from every nook and corner of the country to buy a piece of land in the port city, and billions of rupees were spent on different projects between 2003 to 2006.
After Nawab Akbar Bugti’s death, law and order in Balochistan worsened and the investors avoided Gwadar for six years. As a result no significant development work took place in different schemes except for the completion of the port and a four-star hotel.
Since the announcement of CPEC, the people of Gwadar have seen a new ray of hope. Investment in the city is on the rise again with people buying and selling land.
According to media reports, the unveiling of the master plan was put on hold by the ministry of planning under Khusro Bakhtiar for the allocation of land to big or large scale manufacturing industries which are located away from the city to avoid pollution.
On the other hand, there are several conspiracy theories also doing the rounds.
By not unveiling the master plan, the government looks like it is still thinking about some crucial and sensitive issues.
One hopes that it all ends well, for CPEC could make or break us.
Asif Ali Khan
Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2019