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Gwadar is Located on the Southwestern Coast of Pakistan, On

Gwadar is Located on the Southwestern Coast of Pakistan, On

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Published by Janroz Marri

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Published by: Janroz Marri on Nov 22, 2009
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Gwadar is located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, on theArabian Sea. It is strategicallylocated between three increasingly important regions: the oil-richMiddleEast, heavilypopulated South Asiaand theeconomicallyemerging andresource-laden region of Central Asia. Gwadar Port became operational in 2008, with the first ship to dockbringing 52000 tonnes of wheatfromCanada.Minister of Ports and ShippingSardar Nabil Ahmed Khan Gabolofficially inaugurated the port on 21 December 2008. China hasacknowledged that Gwadar’s strategic value is no less than that of theKarakoramHighway, In addition to Gwadar serving as a potential Chinese naval anchor, Beijing isalso interested in turning it into an energy-transport hub by building an oil pipeline fromGwadar into Chinese-ruledXinjiang. The planned pipeline will carry crude oil sourced fromArabandAfricanstates. Such transport by pipeline will cut freight costs and also help insulate the Chinese imports from interdiction by hostile naval forces in case of any major war.Commercially, it is hoped that the Gwadar Port would generate billions of dollarsinrevenuesand create at least two million jobs.
In 2007, the government of Pakistan handedover port operations toPSA Singaporefor 25 years, and gave it the status of a Tax FreePort for the following 40 years. The main investors in the project arePakistaniGovernmentandPeople's Republic of China.
The region remained on the sidelines of historyfor amillennium, until theArab-Muslim  armyof Muhammad bin Qasimcaptured thetownof Gwadar in 711 CE and over the intervening amount of time the area was contested by various powers, including theMughalsand theSafavids. ThePortuguesecaptured,sackedand burnt Gwadar in 1581,and this was then followed by almost two centuries of local rule by the variousBalochi tribes. The city was visited byOttoman Admiral Sidi Ali Reisin 1550s
Accordingto him, the inhabitants of Gwadar wereBalochand their chief was Malik Jelaleddin, son of Malik Dinar. In 1783, the
of Kalatgrantedauthorityover Gwadar toTaimur Sultan, the defeated ruler of Muscat. When thesultanretook Muscat, he was to continue his rule in Gwadar by appointing agovernor. Until 1958 Gwadar was part of Oman but was transferred to Pakistan on 8 September,1958. It was integrated within the Balochistan on 1 July, 1977 and became a full sub-division of the Gwadar District. It was then made part of theBalochistanprovince. In 2002, theGwadar Portprojectwas begun in the town. Thegovernment of Pakistanwants to developthe entire area in order to reduce its depndence inshippingon the port of  Karachi. By the end of 2004 the first phase had been completed.
Being district headquarters, the town of Gwadar is the chief city of Gwadar Tehsil, thetehsilis administratively subdivided into fiveUnion councils, three of which form Gwadar  city, these are:
Central Gwadar 
Gwadar Southern
Gwadar Northern
Gwadar's location and history have given it uniquecultures. TheArabicinfluence upon Gwadar is strong as a consequence of theOmaniera. The area also has a remarkablereligious diversity, being home to not only
andZikriMuslims, but also to groups of Christians,Hindus, Parsis, and variousminoritiessuch as the
In 1993, Pakistan started feasibility studies for the development of a major deepwater seaport at Gwadar. The port project commenced on 22 March 2002 with the first phasecompleted in December 2005.The construction of the port has spurred other major infrastructure projects in the area.This includes the 700 kmMakran Coastal Highwaywhich is now complete. The road linksKarachi with several ports along the coast includingOrmara,Pasni,Gwadar and will be extended to the Iranian border in the future. The highway has reduced travel time toKarachi from 48 hours to only 7 hours. Other road projects include the Gwadar-Quetta-Chaman road which is due for completion in 2006 and a roadlink to the town of Khuzdar ineastern Balochistan. There are also plans for a terminal for passenger ships.The Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan has earmarked 3000 acres of land for Gwadar International Airportwhich will be built 26 km away to the northeast of the existing airporttowards Pasni . The new airport will be given international status.
Geopolitical importance
The Gwadar deep-sea port emerges as a place of great strategic value, enhancingPakistan's importance in the whole region, extending from the Persian Gulf through theIndian Ocean to Southeast Asia and the Far East.Gwadar is located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, close to the importantStraits of Hormuz,through which more than 13 million bpd of oil passes. It is strategically locatedbetween three increasingly important regions of the world: the oil-richMiddle East, heavilypopulatedSouth Asiaand the economically emerging and resource-richCentral Asia. The construction of the Gwadar deep-sea port is just one component of a larger development plan which includes building a network of roads connecting Gwadar with therest of Pakistan, such as the 650 km Coastal Highway to Karachi and 188 km Gwadar-Turbat road. This network of roads connects with China through the Indus Highway.Pakistan, China, Kazakhistan, Kyrgizstan and Uzbekistan are developing extensive roadand rail links from Central Asia and the Chinese province of Xinjiangto the Arabian Seacoast.China is going to be the beneficiary of Gwadar's most accessible international traderoutes to the Central Asian republics and Xinjiang. By extending its East-West Railwayfrom the Chinese border city of Kashi to Peshawar in Pakistan's northwest, Beijing canreceive cargo to and from Gwadar along the shortest route, from Karachi to Peshawar. Therail network could also be used to supply oil from the Persian Gulf to Xinjiang. Pakistan'sinternal rail network can also provide China with rail access to Iran.
Economic forecasts
The government declared Gwadar port a "Special Economic Zone" in the budget, 2003-2004. All banks will open their branches, five star hotels has already been be built and are
operational, offshore banking will be started, factories, warehouses and storage will be setup, the tourism industry will be promoted in the area, an export processing zone will beset up, making Pakistan a very attractive place for direct foreign investment, and Gwadar port a regional hub of trade and investment activities.
Development ProjectsOman
Oman has offered $100 million aid for the development of social and infrastructurefacilities in Balochistan. Out of $100 million, she has provided $7 million for extending of runway at Gwadar Airport, construction of jetties, upgradation of Gwadar Hospital,provision of 100 engines to fishermen and construction of power house. Oman is alsofinancing construction of Gwadar-Hoshab Road, water supply scheme in Gwadar area andconstruction of irrigation dams.Pakistan and Oman have signed a number of agreements including Avoidance of DoubleTaxation, Promotion and Protection of Investment, Cultural, Technical and EducationalCooperation, Agreement on cooperation between Oman Chamber of Commerce andIndustry , Maritime Boundary Agreement and Agreement to establish Pak-Oman JointInvestment Company
Port Operations
Port of Singaporewas scheduled to take over management of Gwadar Port by the end of January 2007. Port of Singapore was the highest bidder for the Gwadar port after DP Worldbacked out of the bidding process. Originally, the chairman of Dubai Ports World, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who met Pakistani presidentGeneral Pervez Musharraf on May 5 2006, expressed a strong hope for management of facilities at the strategic Gwadar deepsea port and development of infrastructure in the southern port city in Pakistan. But adecision was taken not to bid, after India’s National Security Council voiced concernsabout DP World’s ventures inIndia, alongside its plans in Pakistan, andSultan Ahmed bin Sulayemassured the Indians their pull-out was well considered and India need not haveany security concerns. The port will now be in competition with that of Dubaiin theUnited Arab Emirates.
Opening Date
The first ship anchored in the Gwadar port on March 15, 2008. The first ship was aCanadian ship carrying wheat. It was the largest ship to anchor in Pakistan.
Physical Features / Topography
The coastline of Gwadar District extends in an east-west direction and it is almost entirelydesert. The elevation of Makran coast range is upto about 1000 meters above the sea level.In Gwadar District, soil is of two types: alluvial soil and lithosols and rigosols. The valleyof Dasht river in the western part of the district and the Kulanch valley in the north consistof alluvial soil. The mountainous area of the district is covered with lithosols and rigosols.Limestone, shale and sandstone are the main rocks involved in the formation of this area.
Rivers and Streams

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