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Gwadar port vital for economy

Published Jan 06, 2013 10:08pm

THIS refers to completion of Gwadar deep sea project that has immense strategic and socio-economic value. It is sad that such a high value project is a victim of government’s negligence as the completed part of port project has enabled it to be used only for transportation of bulk cargo like wheat and urea.

The construction of Gwadar port was embarked upon by the government with Chinese assistance in March 2002. Its first phase was completed in December 2006 at a cost of $248 million.

However the port, which was to become one of the world’s largest deep sea ports, came to a standstill due to traditionally lethargic and unprofessional approach of ministry concerned and associates.

Sadly, like PIA, railways, power and energy sector, Steel Mills, the port project is yet another victim of apathy of the government.

It is high time development is started at the Gwadar port in the face of major regional and economic challenges. The port, once fully operational would serve as hub of trade and economic activities in the whole region enabling high volume cargo movement to and from the landlocked Central Asian states, up lift of the impoverished people of Balochistan by providing thousands of employment opportunities.

It will also serve as an alternative deep water port as it is situated 470km away from Karachi making it less vulnerable to the Indian naval blockade. So in the best national interest, there is a need that the government should adopt corrective measures and appoint sincere leadership which could amicably resolve the extraneous issues (including any political considerations or pressure from any political groups) standing in the way of this project of unparalleled significance.

SHAMSA ASHFAQ     Islamabad