GWADAR A CHALLENGE

International shows and catchy events to mark the shipping operations

By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Aug 09 - 15, 2004

The rain, which brings life to the dead and dry lands, is about to pour on the virgin lands of Gwadar, which is about to bloom with the development of the third port city of Pakistan. The on going development work at Gwadar port is very close to completion and according to official assessment the construction of the first phase of Gwadar port would be completed by December 25, the birth day of the father of the nation.

This would be certainly an occasion to doubly jubilate, the birthday of the Quaid, as well as the newly born port of our country.

That historic occasion certainly deserves to be marked in a benefiting manner by organizing International Road Shows to introduce Gwadar port internationally which is going to be a land mark in the maritime economy of Pakistan.

Besides organizing international road shows to tell the world about economic potentials of the newly developed port and city, it is also important to educate the local population about the economic benefits waiting for them and the generations to come through effective use of electronic media. In this regard, a Gwadar Television and a Gwadar Radio station can serve the purpose to educate the local population about the economic opportunities, which are about to knocking at their doors.

The construction work at the third deep port of Pakistan is very close to completion and according to Chinese charge-d'affairs in Pakistan, Sowing Dahing, Gwadar port would be completed by December 25 and would be opened for shipping in April 2005.

It however unfortunate that the saboteurs whosoever they might be have also become more active with the nefarious designs to paint a gloomy picture of Gwadar with their law breaking activities in Balochistan in general and particularly in Gwadar to scare away the potential investors in that prime port city of Pakistan. In fact these anti-Pakistan elements neither want to see economic prosperity of the local people in Gwadar neither they want to see the country emerging on the world map of port of shipping, hence they are out to sabotage this strategically and economically significant project which is being developed in an area which remained neglected over so many decades.

The business community in general and those having a knack in port of shipping were of the view that time has come that the economic managers should chalk out an extensive program of organizing worldwide stage shows to tell the potential investors how important is the new port city besides organizing international events at Gwadar to show the real glimpses of the newly developed port and its economic potential especially in respect of its close vicinity to neighboring Gulf countries, Central Asian States where the major economies of the world have already established their camp offices in the hope of economic benefits in future.

Ahmed Baloch who originally hails from Gwadar and currently running his business in Karachi is keen to see Gwadar as the most modern port city of the world. In order to generate interest of the local population and the investors from rest of the country, he has chalked out a significant event of Jeep rally initiated from Gwadar in which motor sports lover are participating from all over the country. That colorful event would take place on August 14 to mark the Independence Day as well. This event has generated great interest among the corporate sector, which has offered to sponsor this important event in Gwadar. The Board of Investment in collaboration with the corporate sector should also organize such events in a highly professional manner.

It is, however, equally important for the people having a vision for development in Gwadar that they should also take concrete steps to generate a sense of participation among the local population.

The local investors, who are also keen to set up their business operations in Gwadar and most of them have already bought land from the local people, are of the view that certain quarters were fanning feelings among the local population that they would be thrown in minority due to influx of outsiders in Gwadar. The local population were also being frightened by anti-development forces by generating rumors that the natural resources available in Balochistan would be swallowed by the coterie of certain elements while the local population would be deprived of the opportunities. These misconceptions need to be disproving by highlighting the coming events, which will change the course of economic life of the entire Balochistan. The pace of development work at the residential project for which the government has allocated huge funds should also be accelerated so that the dislocated population could enjoy a more civilized life in nicely developed housing projects.

It is heartening to note that Chinese government has decided to enhance political economic and cultural ties with Pakistan and instead of being discouraged by law breaking events in Gwadar, the committed Chinese experts are working with more confidence and passion to give a new look to the economic life of that area so far lying neglected by the previous governments.