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Pakistan Affairs A 100 marks paper divided into mainly two zones: Pre-Partition and Post-Partition


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  #1  
Old Tuesday, April 25, 2006
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Post The economic and strategic importance of Gwader port

GWADAR PORT
Construction of a third sea port at Gwadar which is a focal point in bridging the communication gap between Eastern European, Central Asian States and Pakistan. This most significant project moved successfully during the year and heading wards its completion.
The Chinese Export and Import bank has agreed to release the first installment of $58 million soon which is the part of its commitment to financially support the construction of Gwadar deep seaport.
President of the Exim Bank of China Yang Zilin and Pakistani Ambassador Riaz Mohammad Khan signed a related agreement in Beijing.
The Chinese government will offer preferential loan to support the building of Gwadar port.
According to the agreement, the $58.21 million of preferential loan will be used to support the first phase construction of the port. Total investment in the first phase of construction is $248 million which will come from China. The first phase construction will last three years, during which three multi-purpose berths will be developed. The Gwadar sea port has been among the priorities of President Pervez Musharraf who wants the country's third port to serve as a hub of international trade and a link between East Asia and Europe. The first phase is expected to complete by 2004, following which the government aims to start second phase with a cost of about $200 million dollars. The total cost of the project is about $480 million.
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Post Gwadar background

Gwadar district, with its 600 kilometres long coast line and un-irrigated tracts of Kulanch and Dasht valleys, has always been an important chapter of Makran’s history. The known history of Makran goes back to the time of prophet Dawood when people entombed themselves to avoid famine. The area is said to be possessed by Iranian King Kaus followed by Afrasiab of Turan and then by Kai Khusrau, again an Iranian. Then there is a long list of rulers, including Lehrasp, Gushtasp, Bahman, Huma and Darab, to the year 325 BC when Alexander the Great incidentally found the sea in this area on his way from India to Macedonia. Greek historian Arrian has mentioned the coast line as the country of Ichthyophagoi. At that time Nearchos, the admiral of Alexander, sailed along the coast and mentioned places named Kalmat, Gwadar, Pishukan and Chahbar. Afterwards, the area was ruled by Seleukos Nikator, one of Alexander’s generals, who lost it to Chandragupta in 303 BC. Then the tract of history is lost in darkness for centuries. An account of this area is found in the beginning of the sixteenth century when the Portuguese found their way to India and captured several places along the Makran coast. In 1581 they burnt “the rich and beautiful city of Pasni” and Gwadar. Although many invaders conquered the land, mostly the local rulers, including Hots, Rinds, Maliks, Buledais and Gichkis, exercised authority in the area as the conquerors had no intentions to stay there.

Two regimes of local rulers, of Buledais and Gichkis, are worth mentioning here. The Buledais gained power with the rise of the Zikri sect. These rulers are said to be connected with the rulers of Maskat and were called Buledais with reference to the valley of Buleda where they resided. The Buledais ruled the area for more than a century up to the year 1740. In the last years of their regime they embraced Islam. The Zikri folk joined hands with the Gichkis who also were Zikris by faith. The family feuds and internal dissension between Gichkis resulted in nine successful expeditions (either partially or fully) by Mir Nasir Khan I. It is said, that the main motive behind all these expeditions, made by Mir Nasir Khan I, was to eliminate the Zikris as he belonged to the (anti-Zikri) Muslim faith. These expeditions resulted in a division of revenues between the Khan and Gichkis.

In the last quarter of the eighteenth century, Gwadar and the surrounding country fell into the hands of Maskat. Saiad Said succeeded to the masnad of Muscat in 1783 and had a dispute with his brother Saiad Sultan. The latter appears to have fled to Makran and entered into communication with Nasir Khan who granted him the Kalat share of the revenues of Gwadar. Saiad Sultan lived at Gwadar for some time and eventually succeeded in usurping the Sultanate of Maskat in 1797. He died in 1804 and during his sons reign, the Buledai chief of Sarbaz, Mir Dosten, is said to have acquired temporary possession of Gwadar, but a force sent from Maskat regained it. Although it is generally understood that the right of sovereignty in Gwadar was transferred by the Khans of Kalat to Maskat in perpetuity, the Khans and natives of Gwadar have always denounced this perception. The un-irrigated tracts of Kulanch and Dasht valleys have always been connected with Kech.

The first Afghan war (1838-39) directed attention of the British to the area. Major Goldsmith visited the area in 1861 and an Assistant Political Agent was appointed in Gwadar in 1863. Both Pasni and Gwadar have been ports of call for the steamers of the British India Steam Navigation Company. The first ever telegraphic link to this area was made in 1863 when Gwadar was linked to Karachi. Telegraph offices were opened at Gwadar and Pasni. Later post offices were opened at Gwadar in 1894 and at Pasni in 1903. Ormara was linked telegraphically in 1904.[1]

After the division of the Indian subcontinent into two sovereign states, areas except Gwadar and its surroundings, joined the Balochistan States Union, as part of Makran state. In early 1949 along with Kalat, Lasbela and Kharan. In October 1955, Makran was given the status of a district of former West Pakistan province after its accession to Pakistan. In 1958, Gwadar and its surrounding area was reverted back from Maskat to Pakistan and was made a tehsil of Makran district. On 1st July 1970, when one unit was dissolved and Balochistan gained the status of a province, Makran became one of its 8 districts. On 1st July 1977, Makran was declared a division and was divided into three districts, named Panjgur, Turbat (renamed Kech) and Gwadar. Gwadar was notified as a district on July 1, 1977 with its headquarters at Gwadar town.

A stone-built domed shrine of some saint at Gwadar is said to be centuries old. It may be the same one indicated in the Gazetteer of Balochistan. A square fort along with a tower is present amidst the Memon Muhallah of Gwadar. It is near the old bungalow of the Assistant Political Agent to the Governor General (therefore renowned as governor’s house). Moreover, the fort of Saiad Sultan is still in good condition and is being used as a police station.

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Old Tuesday, April 25, 2006
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Post Historical Perspective

Located at the entrance of the Persian Gulf and about 460 kms from Karachi, Gwadar has had immense Geostrategic significance on many accounts. The continued unstable regional environment in the Persian Gulf in particular as a result of the Iran/Iraq war, the Gulf war and the emergence of the new Central Asian States has added to this importance. Considering the Geo-economic imperative of the regional changes, the ADB’s Ports Master Plan studies considered an alternate to the Persian Gulf Ports to capture the transit trade of the Central Asian Republic (CAR) as well as the trans-shipment trade of the region. Both Karachi and PQA were considered for such development but were found unattractive to major shipping lines due to the remoteness from the main shipping routes, the limitations of draft for mother ships and large bulk oil carriers and the comparative long turn around times. The ADB studies, however considered Gwadar to have the most advantageous location for such an alternative port in the region, which could handle mother ships and large oil tankers in due course.

Keeping that aspect in view as well as the inherent strategic and economic benefits that Gwadar Port offered, the transport plan of the 8th Five Year Plan (1993-94) of Pakistan included the development of Gwadar Port as an essential element of its aims and objectives. Technical and financial feasibilities therefore were under taken resulting in decisions for the development of Gwadar Port by the Govt. of Pakistan.

The Project started on 22 March 2002, is on fast track and will Inshaullah complete in schedule time i.e March 2005. In fact it would surprise many that with initiative and calculated risk, we have received merchant ships since Jan 2003 and have been able to off load hundreds of tones of cargo imported for the Project, thus saving precious time and money which otherwise is required for transportation of the same cargo by road from Karachi/PQA to Gwadar.

Benefits
Besides the Geostrategic importance mentioned earlier, some of the evident economic benefits of the development of Gwadar Port are:

Capitalize on opportunities for trade with landlocked Central Asian States and Afghanistan.

Promote trade and transport with Gulf States.

Trans-shipment essentially of containerized cargo.

Unlock the development potential of hinterland.

Diversion of influx of human resources from up country to Gwadar instead of Karachi.

Socio economic uplift of the province of Balochistan.

Establishment of shipping related industries.

Oil storage, refinery and petrochemicals

Export Processing and Industrial Zones

Reduce congestion & dependency on existing Ports Complex at Karachi/PQA.

Serve as an alternate port to handle Pakistani trade in case of blockade of existing ports.

Will become a Regional Hub for major trade and commercial activities.


Scope of Work

The development of Gwadar Deep Sea Port as per approved PC-I and Master Plan is to be undertaken in two phases. Phase-I will comprise of:-

3 Multipurpose Berths

Length of Berths 602m

4.5 Km long Approach Channel Dredged to 11.5m-12.5m.

Turning Basin 450m dia.

One 100m Service Berth.

Related port infrastructure and port handling equipment & Pilot Boat, Tugs, Survey Vessel etc.



The port will be equipped with the essential port handling equipment and other infrastructure required for smooth operations of a modern port. On completion of Phase-I, the Port will handle Bulk Carriers of upto 30,000 DWT and Container Vessels of 25,000 DWT. Phase-I will be completed at a cost of Rs.14.9 Billion (US$. 248/- Million) and will complete in 36 months i.e. March 3005.

Phase – II
This Phase of the Project is planned to be built on BOO/BOT basis at an estimated cost US$. 600 Million. It will comprise of 9 additional berths as per following details:-

http://www.gwadarnews.com/gwadarphotos/Gawader.jpg

4 Container Berths.

1 Bulk Cargo Terminal (to handle 100,000 DWT ships).

1 Grain Terminal.

1 Ro-Ro Terminal.

2 Oil Terminals to handle 200,000 DWT ships.





Phase II of the project involves construction of more berths on BOT basis including two container berths, one bulk cargo terminal, one grain terminal with capacity handling vessels up to 100,000 DWT, one roll on/ roll off terminal, two oil piers for vessels up to 200,000 DWT and future expansion of two container berths. On completion of the project, Gwadar Deep-sea port would be on of the world's most strategically located port in this part of the world.

On successful completion of Phase-I, it is anticipated that the private sector would come forward to invest in the second phase of the Project. It is envisaged that the complete development of such a Mega project will take 8-10 years depending on the active participation of the private sector.

Cost of The Project
Total amount equivalent to Rs 14.9 Billion (248 million US dollars) were approved by ECNEC for Phase-I of the project. The financial agreement for development of Phase-I was signed with the Govt. of China on 10 August 2001 under which the Chinese will provide US$. 198 Million and the Govt. of Pakistan will provide US$. 50 Million.

Chinese:

Grant US$ 18 Million.

New Grant Assistance US$ 31 Million.

New Interest Free Loan US$ 31 Million

Govt. Concessional Loan US$ 58 Million

Buyer’s Credit US$ 60 Million

Total US $ 198.00 Million


Pakistani:

Rs. 3000 Million (US 50.00 Million) in Local Currency.


Additional Development Cost:

Additional development costs were also envisaged for Electrical Supply 132 KV Transmission Line from Turbat to Gwadar at an approx cost Rs.360.00 million and a Railway line from Gwadar-Panjgoor-Dalbandin (515 Km) at approx cost of Rs.8, 500 million. This is however not a part of the sanction to the Gwadar Port Development Authority.

Human Resource

The Chinese have mobilized 450 personal from China and hired 512 local workmen as per following detail:-

Chinese: 450

Pakistani: 512


Civil Works and Infrastructure Development:

The design and construction of residential buildings and civil works of various port operation buildings and related infrastructure development is to be undertaken by Pakistani contractors and firms out of the US dollars 50 Million allocated for the Project. In this regard consultants have been hired and process for pre-qualification of contractors has commenced. Similarly, award of contract for the construction of residential area was approved by the MOC in June 2003 and the Contractor has already fully mobilized and a construction activity has started.

Master Plan of GWADAR:

Concurrent with the Port development a Master Plan of Gwadar has been approved by Balochistan Government through NESPAK and which has been a hot topic of discussions at various forums. Implementation of the Master Plan is the responsibility of Govt. of Balochistan. Physically no headway has been made so far which is a matter of concern.

The following potentials have been identified in the Master Plan of Gwadar Deep Sea-port Project:

Increased trade to and from Balochistan and Iran.

Trade potential from Central Asian countries through Afghanistan.

Transit cargo (liquid and dry bulk)

Warehousing and assembly industries (EPZ)

Oil storage, refineries, petrochemical industries etc.

Handle the shipping traffic of the region.


Gwadar Master Plan envisages development of about 18,600 hectares of land for this project including the followings:

Port development in Phase 1 & 11 on 400 hectares.

An Export Processing Zone of 74 hectares located on land adjacent to the port in East Bay.

A Special Industrial Zone of about 4,000 hectares lying to the north of the town.

An oil refinery of 1,000 hectares located to the north east of the town, linked to the proposed oil terminal by an
underground pipeline across East Bay.

A residential area of 400 hectares stretching north of the existing town along West Bay.


To bring Gwadar close to the national mainstream, 700 Km long Makran Coastal Highway is in advanced stage of implementation. It will link Gwadar with Pasni, Ormara and Karachi. An other regional linkage is the Gwadar Ratto-Dero motorway linking it with Indus Highway through Turbat, Awaran and Khuzdar. A rail link is also planned to connect Gwadar to Quetta and Zahidan. Civil Aviation Authority also plans to upgrade the existing length of runway from 5,000 ft to 15,000 ft for operation of wide bodied jet air-crafts. The extension work will begin by end August, 2003 and the extension facilities will be available for use by end 2004.


Investment Opportunities

Some of the evident investment opportunities:-

Master Plan related infrastructure i.e. internal roads & services, water and power and communication services for the new township and the Industrial Zone.

Private owned Ware Houses and Cold Storages.

Private cargo handling equipment and trucking yards.

Corporate Infrastructure i.e. offices for operating firms & agencies.

Development of Industrial Zone and Industries.

Development of Commercial/residential areas & buildings.

Labour related amenities for thousands of workers employed on developmental work of Great Gwadar.

Hotels & Motels.

Hospitals, Colleges & Schools.

Tourism related industry.

Marine related industry i.e. shipyards, dry dock and repair yards.

Marine Fuel bunkering for visiting ships to include large fuel storages and mobile barges etc.

Oil refinery and large oil storages.

Ferry services between Gwadar-Karachi/Oman/Bunder Abbas and UAE.

Industrial Export Processing Zone

Hinterland road; Gwadar – Rattodero Expressway (735 km) will pass through Turbat-Awaran-Khuzdar & Shahdad Kot.

Gwadar-Quetta (via Turbat-Panjgoor-Kharan-Nushki) requires to be widened and improved. This link road will reduce the distance to Quetta from 1090 km to 795 km.

Railway; Gwadar – Panjgoor-Dalbadin (515 km).

Gwadar-Afghanistan via Quetta by National Highway- N-25.


Potential Projects at GWADAR Port

Gwadar being unexplored territory till to date as far as business is concerned; a lot of business activities are possible. There are numerous businesses that offer sizeable profits for the investors in Gwadar. Few are mentioned as under:

1 Fish Processing 13 Shrimp farming, Shrimp /Lobsters
2 Crabs processing 14 Training services in Fisheries and Aquaculture
3 Cold storages, Ice factories 15 Port Management projects.
4 Seawater Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plants for profitable purpose 16 Hotels Restaurants & Resorts
5 Business Development 17 Date Processing
6 Service Providers 18 Canned food, Gravel Crush plant
7 Oil Palm cultivation (Govt. of Balochistan can provide land on easy terms) 19 Water sports center and recreation facilities.
8 Marine & Automobile repair workshop 20 Cluster for Internet service providers
9 Renewable Energy; wing, solar- IPP 21 Warehouses
10 Clearing & Forwarding agency 22 Boat building & naval architecture institute
11 Hospitals & Clinics 23 Oil Storage tankers.
12 Re-rolling Mills 24 Ferry Service for Karachi* Ormara-Pasni- Gwadar and up to Oman and Dubai

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Old Tuesday, April 25, 2006
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Exclamation "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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Sardarzada
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Post ‘Gwadar to emerge as new Dubai’

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Senior Vice President on Tuesday announced that the ICCI will be inviting foreign trade and investment companies for setting up businesses at the Gawader Port and will provide technical assistance to all companies interested to invest in the port.

Mr Khan was addressing an inter-district conference on “the role of Government in the enhancement of investment and trade”. He said Pakistan had made considerable economic progress due to the good policies framed by President General Pervez Musharraf and by Finance Minister Shaukar Aziz.

“It is a tremendous achievement that the government has not increased the national debt from the last three and a half years and that the countries foreign exchange reserves were surpassing $10 billion,” he said. He was full of praise for the government’s decision to develop the Gawader Port as a free port, and said the farsighted decision would tremendously contribute to the prosperity of the country.

“The Chinese aid of $200 million, Oman’s financial package of $100 million for Balochistan’s development, the establishment of special economic zone, the opening of offices and branches of all national and multinational banks, the construction of major hotels, the expansion and development of Gawader Airport and the establishment of various ware and storage houses will tranform Gawader into the most modern port of the region. Gawader will emerge as a new Dubai in the future,” said Mr Khan.

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Post Gwadar — The Dream City of South East Asia

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

A village, town or a city, whatever you may call it, one thing is sure that this part of our country carries a far better future than it was realized a few years back.

Gwadar is a neglected city of a neglected province. The Province, which is the largest in terms of area, is the smallest by virtue of its population statistics situated at a strategic geographic point. It is about half way between Karachi and the UAE, close to Sultanate of Oman and Iran. After the war with India in early 70s the importance of another port was seriously realized though no long-term infrastructure could be initiated for a deep-water port in Gwadar.

However putting-up a fish-harbour or a Mini port as they call it was built which has the facility to handle vessels and boats with 1000 tons of cargo. A deep sea water port which is being advocated would provide cargo handling capacity of 100,000 tons or even more. It is an admitted fact that transportation of cargo by sea is the cheapest mode of all over the world. As such countries who have seaports at their disposal can easily overcome their economic problems if they have some. Other developed nations are using these ports to increase their exports and are earning substantial foreign exchange. We are also a maritime nation and to a great extent, fight out the fragile condition of our economy by developing new ports and increasing capacities of the existing ports at Karachi and Bin Qasim.

Before expecting the desired results the roads and highways will have to develop, built and improved for the safe and speedy transportation of man and cargo. These facilities are fully established and opened to users. Gwadar and its surrounding different areas will give an altogether different look than it does today. In many previous statements, articles and columns on 'Gwadar, Balochistan' and 'Coast of Mekran', I had pointed out that there could be a mad rush of investors, traders, industrial contractors, shipping companies and even local businessmen and industrialists for economic activities in diversified fields.

The development of a port city at Gwadar seems to be an action replay of Karachi having not more than a population of 50,000 at the time of independence of Pakistan which is today a metropolis with a population of 14 million plus. Population of Gwadar is about 30,000. The population growth is likely to multiply geometrically as soon as the economic prosperity comes 'honey and bees live together'.

The incident of blockade of cargo movement including stalled transportation of oil on account of war between Iran and Iraq must be fresh in the minds of the people, when the Gulf waterway was made unsafe with use of missiles besides other weapons. Similarly same scenario was witnessed during Iraq-Kuwait war. This tense situation, the region has at number of times suspended smooth transportation in the region. Once Gwadar port is built and opened it will not only be useful for Pakistani exporters and importers but also attract central Asian States to use this port for their cargo shipments. As a result Gwadar is bound to play a role of a regional hub.

Second and equally important factor which plays a pivotal role in uplifting Gwadar's status is the energy reserves in Asian States. Central Asian States would certainly like to get a better outlet for energy both in terms of price and volume. Gwadar would offer an outlet to the CAS countries much better than what the Western world, which has the history of exploiting Russian and other socialist states in the area of sales and transportation of commercial and industrial cargo. For many years the Western world had been charging exorbitantly for transportation of goods. More interestingly, the socialist bloc was being paid much less for their products as compared to international prices. These were the major reasons of the Russian Bloc to dream for 'hot waters'.

Gwadar which is certainly going to be a success story in terms of attracting investors both local and foreign by declaring Gwadar as a free zone and the development of an export processing zone at the coastal areas like Ormara and Gwadar. It will be interesting to know that a large number of Pakistani entrepreneurs are willing to invest in the coastal area while the upcountry importers especially from NWFP and Balochistan will feel a relief from going through the hassles of congestion at the busy port of Karachi.

Gwadar has the potential to become a port of regional importance

Plz pray,
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Old Tuesday, April 25, 2006
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Post Gwadar to be linked with rail network

The railway authorities have planned to spread its rail network to Gwadar port to claim share in the freight hauling business from the new port to upcountry, Afghanistan and central Asian states. For this purpose the railways will have to lay a new track over hundreds of kilometres. It will be the first mega project since the creation of Pakistan. Tenders for granting a feasibility study contract for the project will be opened on Sept 4, railways high-ups told Dawn on Thursday. The railway authorities have conceived three possible routes, and the feasibility study would suggest the best choice that could get maximum business.

The first proposed route is 550kms long, which will link Gwadar to Quetta-Zahidan section of the rail network after passing through Turbat, Hoshab, Panjgur and Yakmach. The second route, about 400kms long as from Hoshab, may be directed towards Awaran, Bela and Dadu instead of Panjgur. The railway officials are also considering that from Bela the track should head towards Uthal and down to Karachi to link Gwadar immediately to the main railway line. According to the railway authorities, track kilometres and cost of the project may increase if the Balochistan government presses the federal government to direct the railways to lay the track close to localities so that local people could also benefit from the facility. A decision to link Gwadar port to Quetta-Zahidan or Karachi-Lahore sections will be taken after evaluating business opportunities available for both the options, they added.
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Old Tuesday, April 25, 2006
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Post Mega projects to benefit provincial economy

QUETTA: Balochistan is fast marching towards increased economic activity with the completion of some mega projects — the Gwadar Port and the Coastal Highway. Its people are already reaping the benefit of the Coastal Highway, although a small portion of it was destroyed in the recent flash floods and torrential rains. Balochistan will soon have its own seaport to handle cargo for the whole region. Both the president and the prime minister have taken a great deal of interest in Gwadar Port project in which land-locked countries of Central Asian Republics and some of the Gulf states are also showing interest. They are reportedly investing in the project which will give a fillip to trade and commerce in the whole region.

Saudi Arabia is interested in linking the Gwadar Port with the Saudi port to cater to the needs of travellers using sea routes to perform Umra. There were reports that the Saudis are interested in starting ferry service between Gwadar and the southern seaport of Saudi Arabia for Hujaj. Besides, they are also interested in livestock development and transporting the bulk cargo using the Gwadar Port.

The Coastal Highway is complete and has given a much-needed boost to local economy of Mekaran and Lasbela. The Mirani Dam is half complete and it will be a big source of fresh water for the port city of Gwadar. It will irrigate 32,000 acres in the Dasht Plains and recharge thousands of dead wells, karez and kans, bringing hundreds of thousands of acres under cultivation.

The Kachhi Canal is another important project that will ensure that Balochistan gets its share of water from the Indus. The canal, when completed, will bring more than 800,000 acres under cultivation in the Kachhi and Nasirabad region. This mega project would cost around Rs54 billion.

Undeterred by the tragic incident of May 2004 in Gwadar, the Chinese engineers and workers worked round-the-clock on the first phase of the Gwadar Port and completed it six months ahead of schedule. They did the same at Saindak and completed the project six months ahead of schedule. After completing the first phase of this key project they have offered bids for the construction to be carried out in the second phase.

At first, the locals, mostly fishermen, thought that the Coastal Highway would not be built beyond Ormara. They thought that the road was being built for strategic purposes only.

However, the president dispelled their misgivings and asked the ministry of communications to extend the Coastal Highway to Gwadar. Some feared that the government would not be able to release funds for the project on time, but their apprehensions turned out to be wrong.

The president of Pakistan and the Chinese prime minister are expected to inaugurate the newly-constructed Gwadar Port some time in April. Official sources said that Pakistan and China would sign an accord for the construction of the Gwadar Port in the second and final phase.

Some time back the government selected around 600 youths of the coastal areas of Balochistan and sent them to Islamabad and Karachi for necessary training. Another group of Baloch youths was also sent for specialized training. The government has also promised that technical training institutes would be set up in Gwadar.

The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and its subsidiary in Balochistan, Quetta Electric Supply Corporation (Qesco), also did an excellent job. Wapda laid a high-tension power transmission line linking the Pasni Power House with the port city of Gwadar. The second power transmission line is taken from Jiki Gwar in Iran to Gwadar via Mand, ensuring a double supply of power to Gwadar. For this, the government concluded an accord with Iran to buy electricity for Mekran. The Qesco is also ready to provide 40-mw of electricity to Gwadar. It also built high-tension power lines between Pasni Power Plant and Gwadar. It is a double-circuit line, ensuring a round-the-clock electricity supply.

Another important project is the construction of a new airport at Gwadar, which has been planned in view of the future needs of the new port city. However, the Civil Aviation Authority is yet to build the new airport or widen or strengthen the runway for large aircraft. It is a pity that the CAA is not keeping pace with other development agencies. How much time the CAA needs, is anybody’s guess.

Town planning and housing is another important factor of the new port city. The provincial government has constituted the Gwadar Development Authority and appointed Mir Ahmed Bakhsh Lehri as its director general. Many housing and commercial schemes were approved. Documents of applicants are being processed. Most of the housing schemes will have their own desalination plant it is hoped that Gwadar will not face a shortage of water.

The government has launched a slew of uplift projects in Balochistan. They will benefit different sectors of the provincial economy. They will boost production and generate enough employment for the people of the province. The projects are aimed at ending the sense of deprivation among the people of Balochistan. It is hoped that these mega projects will usher in an era of economic prosperity in the region.

Plz pray,
sardarzada
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Old Tuesday, April 25, 2006
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Post Geo-Political Importance Of Gawadar

It’s amazing that tomorrow’s small fishing village ‘Gwadar’ is fast emerging as a Deep Sea Port today. This is important to note that the Government of Pakistan, keeping in view its utmost significance in the area, has declared ‘Gwadar’ as a Duty Free Port and a Free Economic Zone. This has not only enhanced its commercial worth manifold but has also accelerated the pace of development to an incredible extent.
In fact, Gwadar enjoys the status of a third Deep Sea Port of Pakistan which has a special significance with reference to trade links with Central Asian Countries, Persian Gulf, East Africa, United Arab Emirates and North Western India.

Gwadar by virtue of its finest location, development projects, recreation programmes and Government’s special attention, will soon turn into a city which will be comparable with cities like Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.

In view of the promising future of Gwadar, people from Pakistan and abroad who believe in safe and sound investment, are taking keen interest in Gwadar.


Historical Info
Located at the entrance of the Persian Gulf and about 460 kms from Karachi, Gwadar has had immense Geostrategic significance on many accounts. The continued unstable regional environment in the Persian Gulf in particular as a result of the Iran/Iraq war, the Gulf war and the emergence of the new Central Asian States has added to this importance. Considering the Geo-economic imperative of the regional changes, the ADB’s Ports Master Plan studies considered an alternate to the Persian Gulf Ports to capture the transit trade of the Central Asian Republic (CAR) as well as the trans-shipment trade of the region. Both Karachi and PQA were considered for such development but were found unattractive to major shipping lines due to the remoteness from the main shipping routes, the limitations of draft for mother ships and large bulk oil carriers and the comparative long turn around times. The ADB studies, however considered Gwadar to have the most advantageous location for such an alternative port in the region, which could handle mother ships and large oil tankers in due course. Keeping that aspect in view as well as the inherent strategic and economic benefits that Gwadar Port offered, the transport plan of the 8th Five Year Plan (1993-94) of Pakistan included the development of Gwadar Port as an essential element of its aims and objectives. Technical and financial feasibilities therefore were under taken resulting in decisions for the development of Gwadar Port by the Govt. of Pakistan. The Project started on 22 March 2002, is on fast track and will Inshaullah complete in schedule time i.e March 2005. In fact it would surprise many that with initiative and calculated risk, we have received merchant ships since Jan 2003 and have been able to off load hundreds of tones of cargo imported for the Project, thus saving precious time and money which otherwise is required for transportation of the same cargo by road from Karachi/PQA to Gwadar.

Gawadar At A Glance
Gawadar is the District Headquarter of Makran Division in Balochistan, the largest province of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It is situated on the coastal line of Makran. Along the coastal line ,there are four Tehsils including Gawadar, Jiwani, Kulanch and Ormara. Jiwani is the only one on the western part of Gawadar, joining Iranian border on Pakistani side. Kulanch and Ormara, on its eastern side are connecting District Lasbela and to Karachi finally. The distance between Gawadar and Karachi in this way, is around 715 km.

Geo-Political Importance Of Gawadar
Dubai is the hub of business not only for Gulf but also for rest of the world including Europe, United States, Africa, China and Central Asian States, simultaneously. The gulf region is facing many political conflicts at the moment and huge disturbances in the current administrative structure are expected in the coming years. In such a scenario, a substitute of Dubai is essential to be located before the crisis hits the finances of millions. The substitute shall be a nearest point probably, to ensure continuous supply line of oil from Gulf to the outer world. Fortunately, Gawadar proves to be the nearest and infact more cost-effective substitute of Dubai, from many aspects.

China is emerging as a super economic power of the world in the recent years. Despite occupying a huge area of world's land, it doesn't have any port of hot waters, which can be used the whole year. The distance of Chinese industrial approach to the Shinghai port is approximately 16000 km and the sea travel of 2-3 months is additional. This costs them a lot in the form of taxes and duties as well. As compared to this, Gawadar port is only on a distance of 2500 km from China and the port is working for the whole year because of the hot waters here. Therefore, the interest of China in the development of Gawadar port is infact in the interest of Chinese economy.

The central Asian states, after the independence from USSR, are trying to develop their economies. These states are land locked and Karachi was expected to provide them the services through Afghanistan. For the purpose, a highway from Peshawar to Karachi was constructed but due to Afghan crisis, this line couldn't be established. The Afghan situation is till not clear, so, Gawadar being near to Iranian border will provide port facilities to Central Asia as well.

Geo-Economic Importance Of Gawadar
With a population of 160000, the Gawadar Town on Makran Coast is now set to become a hub of shipping, commercial and industrial activities. Pakistan and China had signed a comprehensive agreement on March 16, 2002 at Beijing undertaking the task of construction of Gawadar deep seaport of universal standards. The work on the first phase of this mega project, which is being constructed by Chinese Harbor Engineering Company, is now at full swing. The project is bound to be a vital landmark in the economic development of the region. The port comes as a much-needed national requirement in the wake of the rise in cargo traffic at Keamari and Bin Qasim, which are operating at full capacity. It is expected that Pakistan's maritime traffic would rise by three folds by 2010. With the construction of a third port, it is estimated that Pakistan will not only be able to meet its own requirements of the future but also offer its port facilities to the neighboring countries.

Gawadar is now destined to be the most important upcoming coastal town located on the inter junction of the three most strategically and economically important regions of the world that are oil rich Middle East, South Asia where one- fifth of world population lives and the Central Asian Republics endowed with mineral wealth and an educated and highly skilled and disciplined workforce.

Plz pray ,
Sardarzada
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Old Tuesday, April 25, 2006
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Post Police chalk out Rs 3bn plan for Gwadar security

QUETTA: In view of the development of Gwadar as an international seaport and security of the proposed projects of import of oil and gas from Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan via Gwadar as well as the Iran-Pak-India gas pipeline, the Balochistan police department has prepared a five-year Police Plan for Gwadar.

The plan would cost Rs 3 billion and the federal government would provide the funds for the purpose. Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani and Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Yousuf were briefed about the Gwadar police plan during their visit to the Central Police Office (CPO) here on Monday.

They were informed that new police stations and police posts would be established, and all necessary facilities will be provided to them. Over 5,500 police personnel would be recruited in the Police force, who would be provided training at the Police Training School to be established in Gwadar under the plan. The police personnel would also be provided residential facilities. The details about the administrative structure of the police under the plan were also stated on the occasion.

It was also stated that the Motorway Police section is being set up on the Coastal Highway and initially the portion of 50 km from the Zero Point would be given under the supervision of the Motorway Police. The governor and chief minister appreciated the plan and hoped that this would help fulfil the requirements of security in Gwadar.

They directed to prepare PC-I of the multipurpose trade and residential centre under the Benevolent Fund in order to meet the requirements of the government offices, residences of the officers and staff as well as the offices of the private sector and the financial institutions.

Later, they inaugurated the website of the Balochistan Police. They were informed that Balochistan is the first among the provinces where a comprehensive website of the Police department has been prepared. The common citizens would be able to know about the performance of the police department and they would also be able to send their complaints and suggestions to improve the performance through the website.

The governor and chief minister expressed their pleasure over the preparation of the website. They also lauded the performance of the police with regard to controlling the crime, particularly preventing terrorism and protecting the life and property of the people.

Also present on the occasion were Provincial Home Minister, Mir Shoaib Nausherwani, Provincial Police Officer Chaudhry Muhammad Yaqoob, Director General Gwadar Development Authority (Civil) and senior police officials.

Plz pray,
Sardarzada
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