Gwadar Port is the third port of Pakistan - Karachi and Port Qasim being the other two. Gwadar borders on Arabian Sea and lies in the Balochistan Province. It is about 533 km from Karachi and 120 km from the Iranian border. Gwadar Port is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and outside the Straits of Hormuz. It is near the key shipping routes used by the mainline vessels in the region with connections to Africa, Asia and Europe and enjoys high commercial and strategic significance. Various professional studies manifest that Gwadar Port location is the most advantageous one as an alternative port, which could handle mother ships and large oil tankers in due course. It will act as catalyst for large number of related projects like:- * Trans-shipment of bulk cargo
* Oil storage, refinery and petrochemicals
* Export processing and industrial zones
* Export of minerals/livestock
* Services (hotels, accommodation, tourism)
The purpose of developing this port is to stimulate economic growth in the western and northern parts of Pakistan, utilizing the available coastline resources of the country and also providing an outlet for the land locked Central Asian Countries and Afghanistan through transit trade and offering transshipment facilities.
The region remained on the sidelines of history for a millennium until the Arab-Muslim army of Muhammad bin Qasim captured Gwadar in 711 A.D. and over the intervening (and nearly equivalent) amount of time the area was contested by various powers, including the Mughals (from the east) and the Safavids (from the west). The Portuguese captured, sacked and burnt Gwadar in 1581
This was then followed by almost two centuries of local rule by the various Balochi tribes. The city was visited by Ottoman Admiral Seydi Ali Reis in 1550s and mentioned in his book Mirat ul Memalik (The Mirror of Countries), 1557. According to Seydi Ali Reis, the inhabitants of Gwadar were Baloch and their chief was Malik Jelaleddin, son of Malik Dinar
In 1783, the Khan of Kalat granted suzerainty over Gwadar to Taimur Sultan, the defeated ruler of Muscat. When the sultan subsequently retook Muscat, he was to continue his rule in Gwadar by appointing a wali (or "governor"). This wali was then ordered to subjugate the nearby coastal town of Chah Bahar (in modern-day Iran). The Gwadari fort was built during Omani rule, whilst telegraph lines were later extended into the town courtesy of the British. On 8 September 1958, Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from Oman for $3 million. Gwadar officially became part of Pakistan on 8 December 1958. At the time, Gwadar was a small and underdeveloped fishing village with a population of a few thousand. The Pakistani government integrated Gwadar into Balochistan province on 1 July 1977 as the district headquarters of the newly formed Gwadar District. In the 1993, the Government of Pakistan formally conceived the plan to develop Gwadar into a major port city with a deep-sea port and connect it with Pakistan's highway and rail networks. On 22 March 2002, the Government of Pakistan began construction of Gwadar Port, a modern deep-sea port, the first phase of which was completed in December 2005. Gwadar Port became operational in December 2009. Present Situation
Pakistan inaugurated its third deep sea port in Gwadar in March 2005. It became operational in March 2008 when first the ship carrying 52000 tonnes of wheat from Canada berthed here. In my opinion a great news of development for Pakistan, especially as a project whose foundation stone was laid just three years ago on March 22, 2002and its first phase got finished on time in March 2005. Phase I includes building of three multipurpose berths. Gwadar port operations are run by the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA)under a 40-year agreement.
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