.

1- MAKING HOUSES AFFORDABLE FOR MOST
2- OIL & GAS CONFERENCE 2004
3- THE ISSUES FACING LEASING COMPANIES
4- DEVELOPMENT IN BALOCHISTAN

.
DEVELOPMENT IN BALOCHISTAN

 

Three berths to go into operation in next 6 months

.
By AMANULLAH BASHAR

May 17 - 23, 2004
.

 

 

 

 

Recent car bomb blast at Gwadar port where three Chinese engineers were killed and around 11 others including two Pakistanis sustained serious injuries in the incident. Earlier the gas pipe line from Sui gas field was attacked by two powerful rocket attacks or bomb blast which damaged the gas pipeline connecting the gas field in Balochistan and rest of the country.

Obviously, the possible motive behind these acts of terror was to sabotage the pace of development in Balochistan in general and at Gwadar deep sea port in particular. Generally speaking, places or projects of economic significance are targeted by the terrorist to gain their nefarious designs behind the crime, otherwise there would be no impact of such activities if carried out in the deserts or in the places having no economic significances. Consequently, the incidents made headlines all over the world sending a negative message about the country as unsafe for investment.

In fact, development in the province of Balochistan is on top priority of the present government which is reflected in the pace of development at Gwadar as well as at Saindak's copper mine project which is said to be one of the largest copper fields in the world. It is also important to note that people from the friendly country China are engaged in all these major projects such as development of Gwadar port, Saindak Project, Thar coal and power project.

Development of Gwadar port and Saindak projects are of vital significance which may change the course of economic history of Balochistan. It is irony of the circumstances that despite being the largest province in terms of land territory and the richest in terms of mineral resources with lowest size of population, the province of Balochistan was economically lagging behind as compared to other three provinces of the country. It was of course the negligence on the part of the governments in the past and consequently the majority of the population is living below poverty line in that province.

The successful completion of Gwadar port, besides opening of road links with rest of the country as well as with the neighboring countries in the region, is expected to create tremendous economic opportunities not only for local population but for the people of entire Pakistan as well.

 

 

Undaunted by the recent acts of sabotage in Balochistan, over 500 Chinese engineers and the workers are confident to achieve the target well ahead of schedule. According to informed sources three to four berths at Gwadar port are likely to become operative next 6 months. The cargo operation at the newly third port in Balochistan is sure to make this so far remote area a bustling trading center, especially the transit cargo for the Central Asian States.

The local; population in fact is happy over the development process and looking for job opportunities at the port and related business concerns. Their major concern is that they might be left aside and people from other provinces might grab the job opportunities. They have expressed their concerns through chalking on the walls in Gwadar city. However, as far as the government of Balochistan and even the federal government were concerned, they have expressed their determination to make local population a part of the progress.

It is said that the economic development of the province may help poverty ridden population in Balochistan to get rid of the traditional influence of Sardari system so far in vogue in that part of the country.

Some opinion leaders in the business circles are of the view that the policy makers should emphasize more on the trading activity instead of focusing on industrial investment in that newly developed port city in Balochistan. They pleaded that it is the trading which enabled Singapore to emerge as one of the strongest economies in this region. Growth through trading by establishing free economic zones such as Dubai or Sharjah would ultimately entail industrial investment in the area. One of the major impediments in economic prosperity of Balochistan is the dearth of water both potable or irrigation purpose.