Saturday, May 28, 2016

Comparing Iran's Chabahar and Pakistan's Gwadar Ports

Chabahar port in Iran is only about 100 miles from Gwadar port in Pakistan. Both are natural deep sea ports in the Arabian sea.

Gwadar Extends into Deep Sea with East & West Bays

Recent Aerial View of Gwadar Hammerhead Growth


Eastern Half of Gwadar Port 


Gwadar port's planned capacity when it is completed will be 300 to 400 million tons of cargo annually.  It is comparable to the capacity of all of India's ports combined annual capacity of 500 million tons of cargo today.   It is far larger than the 10-12 million tons cargo handling capacity planned for Chabahar.

Completed Gwadar Berths & Cranes





To put Gwadar's scale in perspective, let's compare it with the largest US port of Long Beach which handles 80 million tons of cargo, about a quarter of what Gwadar will handle upon completion of the project. Gawadar port will be capable of handling the world's largest container ships and massive oil tankers.



Gawadar port is being built in Pakistan by the Chinese as part of the ambitious $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that will eventually serve as Hong Kong West for  growing Chinese trade with the Middle East and Europe.  CPEC will also enable Pakistan to bypass Afghanistan to trade with Central Asia through China across China's borders with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Gwadar Port Authority Building

Chabahar is ostensibly an Indian effort to build a port in Iran to bypass Pakistan for India's trade with landlocked Afghanistan and other Central Asian states.  Prime Minister Modi has committed $500 million investment in Chabahar, a tiny fraction of the Chinese commitment for Gwadar. A trilateral agreement was recently signed in Tehran by Indian Prime Minister Modi, Iranian President Rouhani and Afghan President Ghani.

Trade with Afghanistan through Afghan-Iran border in the West will probably remain a pipe dream given that 1) most of Afghan population lives in east and south close to the border with Pakistan and 2) Afghanistan has very poor infrastructure making it very difficult to move cargo across land from west to east and south of the country.

Big Chinese Ship Docked at Gwadar

Pakistan suspects that India's real objective in Iran is to locate its intelligence agents under the cover of Chabahar port construction workers to sabotage China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and support Baloch insurgency to destabilize Pakistan. These suspicions were strengthened when Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav, operating under the fake name Husain Mubarak Patel, was arrested in Balochistan in March this year. Yadav confessed he was operating as an undercover RAW agent from his base in Chabahar, Iran.

If Iran does nothing to stop Indian covert activities from its soil against Pakistan, Iran-Pakistan relations could suffer irreparable harm. Efforts to sabotage CPEC will not please China either, and the Chinese are far more important to Iran as trading partners than India. This should give pause to hardline anti-Pakistan sectarian elements in Tehran.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsYDpMY35U8





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Gwadar as Hong Kong West

China-Pakistan Industrial Corridor

Indian Spy Kulbhushan Yadav's Confession

Ex Indian Spy Documents RAW Successes Against Pakistan

Saleem Safi of GeoTV on Gwadar

Pakistan FDI Soaring with Chinese Money for CPEC

64 comments:

Raju said...

On top of that Gwadar has backing of China and they are very good in execution of any projects overseas where as India does not have the credibility of executing multiple projects in time line. I can see that there is a potential that China or Japan may get involved in Chabar to complete the project. I am highly doubtful about completion of Chabar project with India only.

19640909rk said...

Chabar port will allow Afghanistan to start trading with the world. Right now, Afghanistan is landlocked and at mercy of Pakistan. Afghanistan is a very small nation and Chabar port will serve its need excellently. It will be able to sell its dry fruits to India and the whole world. Chabar will cement India's friendship with Afghanistan further and will further alienate Pakistan.

Also the world has realised how dangerous Pakistani ports can be. US army found that out to its horror that arms containers go missing in Pakistan. When Karachi port cannot be run decently, how can Gwadar port be run. Add Baluch insugency, it will be a big flop show.

Coming to Gwadar, the huge capacity being built is of no use. If China wants to transfer crude oil by road via Pakistan and all across China, it will be a huge financial disaster. The cost of oile will go up multifold.

Anonymous said...

Indians often forget Shia-Iran is rival to sunni Arabs states, they really think the would send and receive any cargo from Chabahar or heck if needed would cause hurdles for the ships going through, its not just iran or pak navy that patrol those regions.Besides most of the transport work is run and owned by sunni pusthun that are no fan of shia iran either, running for decades on tracks between south Afghanistan and karachi port, they already have decades of head start by having institutionalized network that would take decades for india to establish in a wartorn Afghanistan run by corrupt and incompetent governance, what's to stop them from sacking cargo frights coming and going to India?
Besides China has always played the long game, the land of Sun Tzu and Confucius, they supported the mujahedin against the USSR and supported Taliban against the northern alliance, they know its smart to bet with majority sunni then the dvindiling shia (iran has lowest fertility rate in that region), have fun wasteling time and money on a lam duck project India.

Samlee said...

@19640909rk

I Love It When You Indians Daydream

Riaz Haq said...

China To Invest $8.5 Billion To Upgrade Pakistan's Rail Network, Build Gas Pipeline: Report

http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/china-to-invest-8-5-billion-to-upgrade-pakistans-rail-network-build-gas-pipeline-report-1417247


China will invest about USD 8.5 billion to upgrade Pakistan's rail network and to build a key gas pipeline with Iran to meet the country's energy needs, a media report said today.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP), a Pakistan body to authorise major projects, yesterday approved USD 10 billion worth two projects. China will provide loans equivalent to 85 per cent (USD 8.5 billion) of the cost of each project.

The cost of upgrading of Pakistan Railways existing Mainline (ML-I) and establishment of a dry port near Havelian is USD 8.2 billion, which the Chinese government will finance with a USD 7 billion concessionary loan, The Express Tribune reported.

This project is part of USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) package and is covered under the CPEC Framework Agreement, signed during the April 2015 visit of Chinese president to Pakistan.

The estimated cost of Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal & Pipeline project, also cleared in principle, is USD 2 billion including USD 1.4 billion Chinese loan. This project is strategically important for Pakistan as it will eventually link the country's gas network with Iranian system.

"The exact costs of both the projects will be firmed up after finalising financing arrangements," CDWP Chairman and Minister for Planning, Ahsan Iqbal, said.

"After finalisation of the financing arrangements, both the projects will be taken to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) with firmed up cost for final approval," he said.

At present, Pakistan Railways is picking up less than 4 per cent of the traffic volume of the country, which the government intends to increase to at least 20 per cent by 2025.

The project is planned to be completed in two phases in five years by 2021 on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode. Phase-I will be completed by December 2017 and Phase-II by the year 2021.

The CDWP also cleared Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project at an estimated cost of roughly USD 2 billion or Rs. 206.6 billion.

The Chinese Exim bank will provide 85 per cent of the financing under government-to-government mode. The EPC contract will be given to a Chinese company. The pipeline project will be included in the CPEC framework.

The key objective of this project is to overcome gas shortages by importing LNG and its transportation through Gwadar-Nawabshah pipeline.

In phase-I, the pipeline will follow the coastal pipeline corridor, which was formally established for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. In phase-II, a 90-kilometer patch will be constructed from Gwadar to Pakistan-Iran border to tie the national network with Iranian system.

Riaz Haq said...

Wiki Loves Earth shortlists top 10 photos in #Pakistan round

http://www.dawn.com/news/1263551/wiki-loves-earth-shortlists-top-10-photos-in-pakistan-round


You may remember the international photography competition Wiki Loves Earth from last year, in which a Pakistani photographer's capture of Shangrila Lake won the best international picture in 2015.

Wikimedia Foundation, the California-based non-profit organisation which runs Wikipedia, has organised the global photography competition again this year, and the best pictures from Pakistan to go onto compete at the international stage have been selected.

The competition, aimed at documenting the world’s natural heritage under the free license of Creative Commons, recently concluded in Pakistan after receiving an overwhelming response.

Over 1,200 contestants in Pakistan sent in over 8,000 photographs making it the country with the third-largest number of submissions and the greatest number of participants.

Wiki Loves Earth 2016 has seen more than 7,000 participants from 26 countries, with over 75,000 photographs submitted throughout the month of May.

The best thing about the competition is that all the photos have a free license and can be re-used for any purpose, as long as the user attributes the photographer.

The contest was first run in Ukraine in 2013 and has since spread globally.

It is described as the 'sister competition' to Wiki Loves Monuments, which is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest photography competition in the world.

Pakistan became a part of the competition for the first time last year and achieved the first position amongst 28 participating nations.

The international winners of Wiki Loves Earth 2016 are yet to be announced, but the top 10 pictures to represent Pakistan as decided by Pakistan’s jury are below...

Riaz Haq said...

#Asia's new Great Game. #Modi #Afghanistan #India, #Pakistan #Iran #China #US #Chabahar #CPEC #CentralAsia


http://www.dawn.com/news/1264242

By Munir Akram


With a population of only around 50 million, Central Asia will not become a huge market for manufactured goods. It will be twice as expensive for India to send goods to Central Asia through Chabahar than it would be overland across Pakistan. Indian goods are thus unlikely to be competitive against Chinese products shipped overland.

Also read: Lessons from Chabahar

The strategic advantages for India are also questionable. Its influence in Afghanistan will be more dependent on Iran. Pakistan’s cooperation will continue to be essential to restoring peace in Afghanistan. Indian shipping lanes to Chabahar will be vulnerable to disruption. India’s limited influence in Central Asia will not dent that of Russia and China.

The new Great Game will increasingly revolve around China’s One Belt, One Road vision of land and sea connections between Asia, Europe and beyond. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the first component of this ambitious project.

In comparison to the Chabahar route, the strategic and economic implications of CPEC are enormous. It will transform China from a one- to a two-ocean power; enable a part of its $4000 billion annual trade to circumvent the Malacca straits and other potential choke points in the Indian Ocean and shorten China’s supply lines to the Gulf, West Asia and Africa. For these reasons, if no other, China has a vital stake in Pakistan’s strategic stability and socioeconomic development. The Chinese commitment of $46bn for CPEC projects is but the first instalment of the massive capital which China is prepared to deploy in Pakistan.

Instead of being distracted by the moves of its adversaries, Pakistan must remain focused on the implementation of CPEC. This strategic enterprise should not be allowed to be stalled or delayed by external pressure or internal politics, inefficiency or corruption. It would be wise to create a separate and independent CPEC Authority which can be a ‘one-stop-shop’ entrusted with achieving CPEC’s enormous potential for Pakistan’s development. CPEC projects must go beyond infrastructure development to encompass manufacture, consumer goods, housing, health, textiles, finance and other sectors. To this end, the interaction between Pakistani and Chinese private- and public-sector companies must be actively expanded and intensified. Some of the externally imposed limitations on CPEC investment projects, such as restrictions on ‘sovereign guarantees’ for debt finance, need to be removed expeditiously.

CPEC faces threats from Pakistan and China’s adversaries. These will have to be met forcefully.

India’s opposition has been announced openly. New Delhi will continue to utilise Afghanistan as a base to destabilise Pakistan and undermine CPEC. The recent spate of attacks on Chinese workers in Pakistan is no accident. Pakistan will have to further enhance security for them and consider direct action to remove the Afghan-based threat from the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Iran has assured that Chabahar is not designed to compete with Gwadar or CPEC. Pakistan and Iran can cooperate for mutual benefit: to end terrorism in Balochistan, expand trade, and construct the Iranian gas pipeline and a Gwadar-Chabahar economic corridor. However, Tehran often wants to run with the hare and hunt with the hound. Some recent events have sent disturbing signals which Pakistan cannot ignore.

To balance the growing Indo-Iranian relationship, Pakistan must maintain and reinforce its relationship with Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It would be in Pakistan’s interest to help in giving substance and form to the ‘Islamic coalition’ hastily formed by Riyadh. It should also convince the GCC states of the benefits of CPEC as a path to their closer connection with China.

America is and will remain a major player in the new Asian Great Game. ...

Riaz Haq said...

$46 billion #CPEC: Projects worth $30b already under way, says Minister Ahsan Iqbal. #Gwadar #Pakistan

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1113820/46-billion-cpec-projects-worth-30b-already-way-ahsan-iqbal/

Projects worth $30 billion out of a total portfolio of $46 billion have been initiated in the last one year, said Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal, adding that there was no bureaucratic hurdle in the implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) schemes.

The financing arrangements for $30 billion CPEC projects are either finalised or are at various stages of approval, said Iqbal while addressing a press conference a day after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting.

The minister said that most of the $30 billion active portfolio is in the private sector while financing agreements of road infrastructure projects of the public sector have also been signed.

Iqbal said that making $30 billion CPEC portfolio active in a limited period of one year was a big success for the country and it shows that there were no bureaucratic hurdles in the way of swift implementation.

Govt accused of not sharing details of CPEC projects

Iqbal’s comments came amid pressure to set up a CPEC authority for swift implementation of the projects that started under Chinese president’s strategic initiative, One-Belt One-Road.

The purpose of the proposed CPEC authority is said to fast-track approvals and monitoring of these schemes. However, the federal government has already turned down the request on the ground that it would add another bureaucratic layer.

Iqbal said that Gwadar port projects including New Gwadar International Airport and Eastbay Expressway have been forwarded to the Chinese side for financial approval. He hoped that this process would be completed in the next three months and work would begin soon.

According to Iqbal, the government has allocated Rs125 billion ($1.2 billion) for carrying out work on CPEC schemes during the new fiscal year 2016-17. “However, the allocations remain far less than the actual requirements.

“An amount of Rs60 billion has also been allocated for two LNG-fired power plants being set up in Punjab,” Iqbal added, hoping that these two projects would be completed by May next year.

He said in the last three years, 610 projects costing Rs747 billion have been completed. The minister said that the 1,320MW Port Qasim power project would be completed by September next year while the Thar Coal mining projects would be operational by 2018.

To a question whether Chahbahar Port of Iran was a threat to Gwadar port, the Minister said that Pakistan does not feel threatened by any project.

PSDP review

For the outgoing fiscal year, the federal government had allocated Rs700 billion for PSDP spending while the four provinces allocated Rs814 billion, bringing the total outlay to Rs1.514 trillion. However, the Planning Commission on Monday informed the NEC that the spending would remain close to Rs1.401 trillion.

Iqbal insisted that the Rs114 billion lesser spending than approved budget was not actually a cut but a result of administrative weaknesses, legal issues and capacity constraints. Contrary to this claim, the International Monetary Fund had reported about a year ago that the federal PSDP spending would remain lower than the Rs700 billion allocation.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan, #China discuss increased collaboration in #vocational #training & #education #CPEC

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1126642/meeting-pakistan-china-discuss-collaboration-vocational-education/

Pakistan and China have agreed to increase collaboration in the field of vocational education and teacher training programmes.

The agreement came during a meeting between a delegation from China’s Tianjin University of Technology and Education (TUTE) and National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema here on Monday.

Cheema briefed the delegation about the working of NAVTTC and its recent initiatives such as establishment of job placement centres for its graduates.

He said the under-construction China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would open new vistas of prosperity and development and would create employment opportunities in Pakistan.

Cheema said the two countries should enhance their collaboration to reboot the TVET system in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

I hear a lot of big container ships sail back empty out of US ports. http://www.wsj.com/articles/at-u-s-ports-exports-are-coming-up-empty-1444768094

One of the fastest-growing U.S. exports right now is air.

Shipments of empty containers out of the U.S. are surging this year, highlighting the impact the economic slowdown in China is having on U.S. exporters. The U.S. imports more from China than it sends back, but certain American industries—including those that supply scrap metal and wastepaper—feed China’s industrial production.

Those exporters have suffered this year as China’s economy has cooled. In September, the Port of Long Beach, Calif., part of the country’s busiest ocean-shipping gateway, handled 197,076 outbound empty boxes. They accounted for nearly a third of all containers that moved through the port last month. September was the eighth straight month in which empty containers leaving Long Beach outnumbered those loaded with exports.

The empties are shipping out at a faster rate at many U.S. ports, particularly those closely tied to trade with China, while shipments of containers loaded with goods are declining as exporters find it tougher to make foreign sales. That’s at least partly because the strong dollar makes American goods more expensive.

Normally, after containers filled with consumer goods are delivered to the U.S. and unloaded, they return to export hubs. There, they typically are stuffed with American agricultural products, certain high-end consumer goods and large volumes of the heavy, bulk refuse that is recycled through China’s factories into products or packaging.

Last month, however, Long Beach and the Port of Oakland both reported double-digit gains in exports of empty containers. So far this year, empties at the two ports are up more than 20% from a year earlier.


Long Beach’s containerized exports were down 8.2% this year through September, while Oakland’s volume of outbound loaded containers fell 12.7% from a year earlier in the January-September period.

“This is a thermometer,” said Jock O’Connell, an international-trade economist at Beacon Economics. “The thing to worry about is if the trade imbalance starts to widen.”

Trade figures released Tuesday in Beijing underscored China’s faltering demand. China’s imports fell 20.4% year-over-year in September following a 13.8% decline in August.

As of June, U.S. exports of scrap materials were down 36% from their peak of $32.6 billion in 2011.

The diminished demand for the industrial material reflects economic weakness that goes beyond China, said Paul Bingham, an economist with the Economic Development Research Group Inc. It also suggests slowing consumer demand in Europe, he said.

The U.S. trade gap has expanded sharply in recent months as exports have slipped, growing 15.6% in August to a seasonally adjusted $48.3 billion, according to the Commerce Department. U.S. exports fell 2% in the month to their lowest level since October 2012.

Outbound empties have mounted this year at other big gateways, too. In August, the Port of Los Angeles, the country’s largest single container port, handled more than 225,000 empty outbound containers, counted in twenty-foot equivalent units, a standard maritime industry measure. That was 21% more than a year earlier. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey expanded its empty-container exports nearly 31.5% in the first eight months of this year, and empties outnumbered loaded container exports over that time.

Riaz Haq said...

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > BUSINESS
Pakistan, China ink agreements worth $4.2b

As per the contracts, China would provide a concessionary loan of $1.3 billion for the 120-kilometre long Thakot-Havelian section of Karakoram Highyway-II (KKH-II) and $2.9 billion for the 392-kilometre Multan-Sukkur section of the Lahore-Karachi motorway.

------

Since China is providing concessionary loans for both projects, the contracts have been awarded on a government-to-government basis, waiving the condition of international competitive bidding.

Out of the $46 billion CPEC investment package, roughly $11.5 billion is reserved for the road and railways infrastructure. China has promised to give concessionary loans for four infrastructure projects. Two of these projects will get interest-free loans.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/1096762/cpec-eastern-alignment-pakistan-china-ink-agreements-worth-4-2b/

From Business Recorder:


China would extend assistance to Pakistan at 1.6 percent interest rate for infrastructure projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), it is learnt. Member, Infrastructure and Regional Connectivity of Planning Commission Malik Ahmad Khan confirmed that China would extend assistance to Pakistan at 1.6 percent interest for infrastructure projects under CPEC. "We wanted China to reduce this rate from 1.6 percent to 1 percent. And the Finance Division is making efforts in this regard," he added.

Under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Projects (CPEC), China has promised to invest around $11.8 billion in infrastructure projects and $33.8 billion in various energy projects which will be completed by 2017 at the latest. According to sources, the corridor is a 2,700-kilometre highway that would stretch from Kashghar to Gwadar through Khunjrab. The CPEC will integrate the economies of the two friendly countries; it envisages several economic zones.

http://www.brecorder.com/market-data/stocks-a-bonds/0/1223449/

Riaz Haq said...

#China-#Pakistan Economic Corridor on track, says #Chinese envoy. #CPEC

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/china-pakistan-economic-corridor-on-track-says-chinese-envoy-116062500289_1.html

In the energy sector, 16 projects have been sorted out to be implemented first, which can generate 10.4 million kw of electricity in total, Sun said, adding that half of the projects have been under construction, and will help Pakistan ease its power shortages.

A solar power plant in Punjab province's Bahawalpur city, built by the Chinese company ZTE Energy, has recently installed a 300-megawatt generator unit, which can produce 480 million kWh annually, enough to satisfy the daily power consumption of at least 200,000 Pakistani families, Sun said.

Regarding transportation, the ambassador said, phase II of the Karakoram highway, the Multan-Sukkur section of the Lahore-Karachi highway, and the Pakistan portion of a cross-border optical cable project are already underway.

As the largest transportation project under the CPEC, the 392 km-long Multan-Sukkur stretch is expected to create nearly 10,000 jobs at the peak of its construction, the ambassador added.

According to incomplete statistics, the CPEC projects under construction have employed more than 6,000 Pakistani workers by the end of March, besides the employment indirectly created and driven by the projects, Sun said.

Furthermore, Chinese companies participating in CPEC helped residents in remote areas of Pakistan gain access to clean water, electricity and better transportation.

China's Three Gorges Corporation and Tebian Electric Apparatus have provided generators, solar lights and water purification units to residents in remote regions while China Road and Bridge Corporation has repeatedly helped locals build makeshift bridges and water ducts and taken part in rescue and relief operations.

The China Development Bank, Huawei, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, as well as other Chinese entities, have also sponsored Pakistanis to receive further education in China, donated school buses to Gwadar and set up education funds, which have received wide praise from the local population.

The CPEC, which highlights energy, transport, the Gwadar port and industrial cooperation at the current stage and will seek to expand cooperation to such sectors as finance, science and technology, education, poverty alleviation, and urban planning.

"The CPEC is a mutually-beneficial and win-win cooperation, which will contribute to the prosperity and development of China, Pakistan and the region and the building of a community of shared destiny between the two countries," Sun said.

"We will fully implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of China and Pakistan, and push forward the construction of CPEC to benefit the Chinese and Pakistani peoples," Sun added.

Chinese firms are to invest $46 billion in the project over six years, including $33.8 billion in energy projects and $11.8 billion in infrastructure, as part of an agreement inked by the two sides during a visit by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to China in 2014.

The CPEC is part of China's transnational 'One Belt One Road' (OBOR) initiative, which includes the land-based New Silk Road and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road.

China's access to Gwadar, close to the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil shipping lane, could open up an energy and trade corridor from the Gulf across Pakistan to western China.

The CPEC when completed will also give China land access to the Indian Ocean, cutting the nearly 13,000 km sea voyage from Tianjin to the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Malacca and around India, to a mere 2,000 km road journey from Kashgar to Gwadar.

Riaz Haq said...

#China-Led #Infrastructure Bank AIIB Starts With $509M in Loans 4 Projects: #Bangladesh #Indonesia, #Pakistan #CPEC

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/world/asia/china-led-development-bank-starts-with-509-million-in-loans-for-4-projects.html

BEIJING — A new Chinese-led international development bank announced its first four loans on Saturday, pledging to lend $509 million for projects to spread electric power in rural Bangladesh, upgrade living conditions in slums in Indonesia, and improve roads in Pakistan and Tajikistan.

At the first of the annual general meetings of the institution, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the bank’s president, Jin Liqun, said the projects were financially sound and environmentally friendly and had been accepted by the people in the project areas.

The projects of the 57-member bank, founded last year as an effort by China to both challenge lending institutions and cooperate with them, are relatively modest.

The road in Tajikistan is just three miles long, but it will help clear traffic congestion on an important trading route near the capital, Dushanbe. A $100 million loan to Pakistan is for 40 miles of highway in Punjab Province that would complete the last section of a national artery, the M-4, the bank said.

Three of the projects are being financed with other institutions — the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development — an approach that allowed the new bank to begin the projects quickly. The bank’s $165 million loan to expand electricity in rural areas of Bangladesh is its only stand-alone project.

By financing projects with long-established institutions, the Beijing-based bank was able to move quickly because work on meeting environmental standards and procurement policies had been completed, staff members at the bank said.

Although the new bank was China’s idea, it is intended to operate as an international bank dedicated to improving the basic structures and facilities needed to stimulate development across Asia, Mr. Jin said at a news conference on Saturday. Unlike the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank places less emphasis on the reduction of poverty, he said.

The bank “was born with the birthmark of China, but its upbringing is international,” Mr. Jin said. Referring to the three other institutions that will finance the projects, he said, “We can work wonderfully together.”


Riaz Haq said...

Is the Chabahar Port agreement failing India?

the Indian Ministry of Finance had demanded a certain assured return of investment of the project, but later decided to go ahead as Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had intimidated India. However, now the ministry is proceeding with utmost caution. Moreover, Chabahar’s success depends upon the commercial strategy that it pursues for its business model. Chabahar has less potential as compared to Gwadar. Gwadar is the only port in the region to accept 200,000 tonnes of supertankers whereas Chabahar can only accept 20,000 tonnes. Therefore Chabahar, as a successful economic project, cannot outflank Gwadar.

Another factor worth acknowledging is that Afghanistan itself is a part of problem, not the solution. Instability in Afghanistan may not help realise India’s dream of increasing its influence in the Caucasus region. The National Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITNs) has not been developed; it is still a pipe dream. Given the turmoil in the Middle East, Iran is more concerned about securing its border with Afghanistan which could hamper India’s aims of moving into Afghanistan the way it wants to.

Iran does not serve Indian interest in Afghanistan. It also doesn’t stand with India when it opposes any attempt at reaching out to the Taliban. The biggest problem India faces in Afghanistan is the absence of any regional strategic partner in Afghanistan. So, the trilateral agreement may reflect cooperation between Iran, India and Afghanistan but it may not translate effectively into political cooperation, let alone geo-strategic partnership.

What further instigates tension is the fact that Iran and India have many diverging interests. Chabahar is made out to be a means of increasing ‘connectivity’ and ensuring ‘security’ but Iran may not be able to align itself with India on its larger geo-strategic and economic goals. In the past, Iran never opposed the Pak-China Gwadar Port and, in sync with its past policies, claimed Gwadar and Chabahar as sister ports. India expressed its interest in developing a major oil field in Iran but Iran refused to give India its gas marketing rights. So, to say, too many expectations on India’s part are bound for disappointment.

India’s interests also diverge from those of Iran. It is not in a position to make Iran its geo-strategic partner and use Chabahar for its larger geo-strategic aims. India has to remain equidistant amidst the Riyadh-Tehran rivalry in Middle East. It also has its interests on stake because of the Iran-Israel divide. New Delhi, in all these sets of relationships, is in no position to take sides, which makes it harder to utilise Chabahar as a geo-strategic port. India means business when it comes to Iran. The game India wants to play in the West and Central Asia needs patience and finesse, for which Pakistan has a befitting reply.

What must also be acknowledged is that China is crucial to Iran’s interests. This can be used by Pakistan, in fact, to outflank India’s Chabahar. Pakistan should adopt the approach: seize the Chinese moment, play the Chinese card. A post-sanctions Iran is looking for economic opportunities opened up by China’s ‘one-belt, one-road’ initiative; Chabahar is only one of such avenues that are being explored by them.

At this point, Pakistan needs to enhance its trade with Iran and develop the western route for CPEC. Pakistan has no reason to fear Chabahar. We should work diligently to connect to Central Asia. In today’s interdependent world, no state (especially a less influential one) can convince other states to refrain from forming economic relations with other countries. It can, nevertheless, engage economically in such a way to become influen

http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/35894/is-the-chabahar-port-agreement-failing-india/

Riaz Haq said...

#China Grants $260m for #Gwadar International Airport in #Pakistan #CPEC http://crss.pk/story/china-grants-260m-for-gwadar-airport/ …

China is granting Pakistan some $260 million for the construction of the Gwadar International Airport on the Arabian Sea, national media reported Tuesday.
Government officials shared this information with the Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in a recent meeting at Islamabad, the daily Express Tribune said. The entire amount of $ 260 million is a grant from the Chinese government, the parliamentarians were informed. (http://tribune.com.pk/story/1136476/infrastructure-gwadar-airport-cost-260m/)
Gwadar, also being developed as a deep-sea port, is the culmination of the CPEC – the first initiative under China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) trade connectivity plans – that will connect Kashgar in west Chinese province of Xinjiang through a nearly 3000 km route.
Gwadar is located in the ethnic Baloch part of the southwestern Balochistan province, where a low-intensity Baloch nationalist movement has been stoking unrest.
This airport would be able to handle the largest of passenger planes including the A380 Air Bus and Boeing 747-400.
Additionally, the Chinese government has given another grant of $10 million for the construction of the Pakistan-China Vocational and Technical Training Institute to help locals acquire skills.
These grants are part of $ 46 billion infrastructure investment and communications’ development plan under the CPEC. It includes construction of highways, industrial zones, and energy projects across Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan saw 23% growth in airline passengers in 2015; #Gwadar airport growth fastest at 73% #CPEC http://www.anna.aero/2015/09/02/pakistan-sees-a-rise-in-airline-seat-capacity-of-23/ … via @annaaero

Pakistan’s commercial airports have seen major growth in capacity in the past 12 months, as S15 seat capacity is showing a rise of 23%. Of all the airports in Pakistan, the one that is recording the greatest growth in capacity is Gwadar (13th largest in S15), which is showing an increase in capacity of 73%. A total of eight airports are recording a growth rate over the past 12 months that is greater than 60%, with four of these airports being in the top 12 (highlighted in light green). Only one airport is showing a decline in capacity when compared with S14, Skardu. The 14th largest airport in 2015 was the 11th biggest last year. However, the facility has witnessed a decline in seat capacity of 14% according to OAG Schedules Analyser. In the top 12, the airport order pretty much remains constant, with Multan (+64%), Quetta (+62%) and Faisalabad (+61%) all climbing one place as a result of all of them seeing a growth of over 60%. Turbat is a new airport to the top 12 (13th in S14) as a result of Skardu’s capacity decrease.

After seeing a rise in capacity of nearly 26%, the domestic market is the largest in Pakistan. The country market that is recording the best growth in the top 12 is Sri Lanka. The country pair is served by two routes to Colombo from Karachi and Lahore, with the latter only being launched in November last year with a twice-weekly service operated by Mihin Lanka. Services to Karachi have seen an increase in capacity of 11%, a sector flown by SriLankan Airlines. Of the country markets in the top 12, the only one to show a decline in capacity is Kuwait. In total there are three connections between Kuwait City and Pakistan for S15 (same as in S14), Lahore (-6%), Islamabad (+1%) and Sialkot (-23%). Surprisingly Karachi, the largest airport in Pakistan relating to seat capacity, does not have a direct service to Kuwait.

Over the past 12 months, Turkish Airlines has grown seat capacity out of Pakistan by 38%, beating the MEB3 carriers of Emirates (+13%), Qatar Airways (+28%) and Etihad Airways (+18%). What should also be noted is that Emirates’ sister airline, flydubai (highlighted in light green), has now overtaken Etihad Airways in relation to the monthly seat capacity on offer by both airlines in S15, helped by the carrier reporting a growth in capacity of 66%, and climbing from 12th spot in 2014 to eighth in 2015 in relation to Pakistan’s top 12 airlines. This has been helped in part by the airline recently launching services from Dubai to Faisalabad. Nonetheless the number one out of Pakistan remains the country’s national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines. The airline has reported a growth in capacity when compared to the same time period of last year of 25%. None of the airlines in the top 12 are reporting seat capacity reductions in S15. However, Air Indus is showing a consistent pattern with 0% growth and offering the same amount of seats as S14, but growth from Airblue means that the airline drops to fifth in S15 from fourth in last year.

Riaz Haq said...

A 2009 Dawn report on Gwadar International Airport:

The government has decided to provide Rs6.18 billion for construction of an international airport in Gwadar. — File Photo
ISLAMABAD The government has decided to provide Rs6.18 billion for construction of an international airport in Gwadar, despite an earlier decision that the airport would be built by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from its own resources.
The total cost of the project is Rs7.5 billion. The government of Oman will provide a grant of $17.5 million.

Under the earlier decision taken at the beginning of the last fiscal year the CAA was to build the airport on the pattern of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad.

The PC-1 of the project approved in July 2008 stated that CAA would use its own funds in addition to the Omani grant.

While an amount of Rs750 million was allocated in the development budget of the current fiscal for schemes forwarded by the defence ministry, the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) approved local financing of Rs6.18 billion for the airport.

A senior member of the Planning Commission said the decision had been taken under the government's Balochistan development policy.

The CAA has acquired 4,300 acres. It estimates that the airport will be operational by 2020 and it will be able to handle large passenger and cargo aircraft.

The second phase of the airport is scheduled to be completed by 2030 and the final phase by 2050 when it will have the capacity to handle more than one million passengers and 50,000 tons of cargo a year.

The existing airport built in 1970 handles small aircraft flights to Pasni, Jiwani, Ormara, Karachi and Muscat.


http://www.dawn.com/news/954119/rs6-18-billion-for-gwadar-airport

Riaz Haq said...

#China urges #Pakistan to let #Pak army, with its decades of infrastructure dev experience, lead #CPEC work https://www.ft.com/content/5eea66c0-4ef9-11e6-8172-e39ecd3b86fc


Frustrated with the slow progress on a sprawling, $46bn infrastructure project stretching from China to south Asia, Beijing is seeking to give Pakistan’s army a lead role.


Its desire to enlist Pakistan’s military is a sign of the challenges facing a crucial plank of President Xi Jinping’s signature One Road One Belt initiative. It was designed to increase China’s influence along the Silk Road and help the country export some of its excess industrial capacity.

Mr Xi made Pakistan an early stop on that road last year with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a $46bn bundle of road, railway, electricity, oil and gas projects that marked the largest foreign investment in the nuclear-armed south Asian state.

But progress has stalled as the two sides work out how to turn the proposals into concrete projects, said Victor Gao, a former Chinese foreign ministry official, with some blaming Pakistan’s competing ministries.

“On the Pakistan side there is uncertainty about which entity wants to take leadership or ownership of the corridor projects,” he said. “There is a big debate internally [in Pakistan] over whether the government should take ownership or the military should take ownership. This is what is holding the whole thing up.”

The Pakistan military, which has detachments of civil, mechanical and electrical engineers, has had decades of experience with large infrastructure projects and analysts say the army is well placed to supervise the corridor.


But some politicians warn that military involvement will expand the army’s footprint on civilian matters and give the armed forces an even greater say in policymaking.

Security along the route, which traverses many volatile regions, is also a factor. “Because this project runs from Kashgar in Xinjiang to Gwadar, the CPEC’s route is very long and high-risk,” said Huang Rihan at the Center for China and Globalisation.

A 15,000-strong army-led security force has already been deployed to protect Chinese personnel assigned to the project.

Ultimately the new Silk Road will connect China’s western region, including the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang province, to the Chinese-funded Pakistani port city of Gwadar and significantly reduce the travel time between China and the Middle East.


“Pakistani politicians have squabbled over the route for the CPEC and this may have made people nervous in Beijing,” said a Pakistan government official. “Pakistan is a noisy place politically while the Chinese are not used to harsh disagreements, especially over such a vital project.”

Others attributed the hold-up to the long-term nature of the CPEC. “These projects will take many years to be completed, beyond the tenure of any one government,” said a foreign ministry official in Islamabad. “China wants to make certain that these projects will be completed as per plan”.

China is focused on securing a route to the Indian Ocean that would reduce dependence on the choke point of the Strait of Malacca between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Zaffar Hilaly, a former senior Pakistani diplomat and now commentator on national and security affairs, said: “The Chinese consider the Pakistan army a central player [for the country]. They see the army’s involvement with this project as a guarantee of its success.”

Pakistan’s armed forces have established close ties with Beijing as primary customers of China’s defence hardware, raising concerns in Delhi and Washington over a Sino-Pakistani military axis.

Riaz Haq said...

Modernising #Pakistan through #China. #CPEC by Farhan Bokhari

http://gulfnews.com/opinion/thinkers/modernising-pakistan-through-china-1.1870853

Reality check long overdue

While Pakistan’s civil institutions responsible for public work increasingly show a dismal performance, the Pakistan army continues to remain responsible for a variety of construction-related mega projects in otherwise inaccessible areas.

This follows more than five decades of experience by the army in undertaking challenging assignments including the Karakorum Highway or KKH, the road built with Chinese assistance, which links China’s Xinjiang province with Pakistan’s northern Gilgit-Baltistan province and onwards to the country’s plains. At the outset with the CPEC too, the army’s promise to provide a full security cover for Chinese workers in Pakistan, marked the critical element that buttoned up this project.

In the long term, Pakistan’s ruling politicians may have a valid point in seeking to lead the CPEC initiative. And yet, that ambition needs to be built with a long overdue reality check. The country’s civilian authorities need to embark on an internal reform plan first rather than seek to block the army from assuming a lead role in the execution of the CPEC.

Such a plan must be built upon three equally vital aspects. First, there needs to be a complete political consensus over the geographic layout of the CPEC and its associated projects. Signs of infighting between different political groups have in fact harmed the view of Pakistani politicians, reinforcing their image as a short-sighted warring bunch rather than a mature and politically responsible community.

Second, it’s vital to put safeguards in place for a radical improvement in the performance of key civil institutions, enabling them to take greater responsibility for the execution and eventual management of CPEC related projects. The total work cut out under this initiative will likely continue till the end of the next decade if not beyond. This creates a sufficient time frame for the army to first take charge of this valuable initiative and hand over responsibilities for its eventual management to Pakistan’s civilian infrastructure following a set of robust reforms.

Finally, it’s important for Pakistan’s ruling politicians to consider different types of fallouts from antagonising the armed forces, all in the name of promoting democracy. In the case of the CPEC, some politicians have eagerly pushed for exclusive civilian control on this project as a step towards strengthening Pakistan’s democratic evolution. Yet their initiative will only be an exercise in futility until such time that they reconcile themselves with Pakistan’s fundamental realities.

For now, General Raheel Sharif and the Pakistan army exclusively remain the main guarantors for the success of what is set to transform Pakistan as never before.

Riaz Haq said...

What explains #Modi government kicking up a row over #China #Pakistan Economic Corridor (#CPEC) now?

http://scroll.in/article/814059/what-explains-modi-government-kicking-up-a-row-over-china-pakistan-economic-corridor-now … via @scroll_in

By MK Bhadrakumar

The big question is: How do the Chinese assess the Modi government’s proclivity to count the trees instead of seeing the woods? Do they sense this might be a matter of conscious choice?

What rankles most in the Indian mind is China’s relations with Pakistan. The Modi government demands that China should suspend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on the plea that Gilgit, Baltistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir are Indian territories.

In reality, though, we have a classic situation where it is entirely up to India to raise dust (or not to raise dust). It is even baffling how economic development of those neglected regions would hurt Indian interests. After all, the people inhabiting those regions are also Indians, isn’t it?

The sensible thing would have been to let the Chinese loosen their purse strings to develop our territories that happen to be inside Pakistan temporarily so that when we finally make them part of Akhand Bharat, they won’t be the impoverished terrorist-infested swathes of land that they are today.

Frankly, India is taking an illogical stance. The Modi government estimates that Economic Corridor is “India-centric”, whereas, it is a strategic initiative by China in self-interest.

China has a good reputation for putting money only where the mouth is – and $46 billion is a lot of money. The Chinese motivations are not difficult to comprehend.

The Economic Corridor boils down to project exports by Chinese industry, which is saddled with excess capacity.
Two it opens up efficient communication links with markets in the Gulf and Africa.
It fuels the economy of Xinjiang.
It mitigates to some extent China’s “Malacca Dilemma” – the fact that 80% of China’s oil imports have to pass through the strait en-route from West Asia and Angola.
It creates leverage to balance the traditional American dominance over Pakistan.
Indeed, finally, it cannot be overlooked that One Belt One Road Initiative has a geopolitical dimension insofar as it counters the US’ strategy to encircle China and "contain" it.
Conceivably, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will galvanise Pakistan’s economy. Now, isn’t that a nice thing to happen if it prods our western neighbour to understand that getting rich is the smart thing to do?

If China succeeds in transforming Pakistan as a modern middle-income economy like Turkey or Malaysia, it can only strengthen regional security. But then, a paradox arises: If Pakistan does not collapse as a “failing state” and instead becomes a more prosperous country than India, what happens to Akhand Bharat?

The smart thing would have been to offer to the Chinese an economic corridor through our territory. It is advantageous to be a transit country.

Riaz Haq said...

Does China see CPEC absorbing excess industrial capacity?


The CPEC provides an additional incentive for Chinese companies to extend further afield and expand their business models. Then there is the utilisation of its excess industrial capacity, which China stands to gain from considerably; “Putting idle machinery to use in another country helps to alleviate the domestic burden of idle productive capacity”, Polk explains, “which is currently one of the major constraints on China’s growth, so removing that excess capacity by building infrastructure in other countries may help to accelerate a stabilisation in China’s industrial sector”. Given such advantages for China, it would seem that the benefactor is gaining from the project as much as the recipient, and some may argue, even more so.

http://www.worldfinance.com/infrastructure-investment/pakistan-and-china-join-forces

Riaz Haq said...

Li Ka-Shing’s 2nd #Pakistan Container Terminal to Start Operations at #Karachi Port Soon http://bloom.bg/2bcCjyH via @markets

Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd. is set to start its second Pakistan terminal after a five-year delay, giving mega vessels access to the coastal city of Karachi for the first time.
Hutchison’s terminal operations in South Asia’s second-largest economy will commence before the end of this year, as agreed with the Karachi Port Trust, the company said in an e-mailed reply to questions on Monday.
Li’s company, a unit of his Hong Kong-based flagship CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., is tapping into expanding growth in Pakistan as China plans investments valued at $46 billion in power plants and road projects. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government is targeting an annual growth rate of 7 percent next year as the country is set to complete an International Monetary Fund loan program next month.
“Pakistan has been lagging behind big time and now we are moving into the future with this terminal being one of the deepest in the region,” Abid Butt, chief executive officer of Karachi-based freight company e2e Supply Chain Management Ltd., said by phone. “The port can become a transshipment location given India is congested and located better than Dubai’s Jabel Ali.”
Hutchison Port shares gained 1.2 percent to 0.440 Singapore dollars as of 9:01 a.m. in Singapore trading. The stock was down 18 percent this year as of the close Monday.
Karachi Delays
More than half of the nation’s total trade is done through transshipment, said Butt. However, roads around the port in Pakistan’s biggest city will need to be expanded to accommodate cargo from the world’s largest ships, he said.
South Asia Pakistan Terminals Ltd. will handle as much as 1.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units a year and increase the nation’s container handling capacity by more than half, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the plans are private.
Hutchison’s port will begin operations in the last week of October and will aim to handle 250,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in the first year of operations and increase that to more than 2 million in five years, the person said.
The commercial operations of the terminal with a depth of 16 meters was initially expected to start in 2011, four years after the agreement. Bureaucratic wrangling and a slowdown in road construction and dredging delayed the port operator’s plans, the person said. Some road works and dredging are still not complete, the person said.
‘Leftover Dredging’
“Most of the work is done and the leftover dredging and road work will be complete before the launch,” said Shafiq Faridi, spokesman for the Karachi Port Trust said by phone.
Pakistan handles about 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent, including Hutchison’s first venture Karachi International Container Terminal that started in 1998.

Riaz Haq said...

Published: 27 Jun 2016
Pakistan Vision 2025 seeks to enhance the national transportation infrastructure by establishing an efficient and integrated transportation and logistics system. Establishing industrial parks and developing SEZs along the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will strengthen the transportation network and logistics infrastructure. Road freight transportation contributed over 90% of the goods transported by land. Rail freight is likely to gain share due to modernization and expansion. High priority is given to road network development. Private sector participation in logistics infrastructure development is likely to gain momentum, and transportation and warehousing are likely to lead logistics industry growth during 2016–2020.

The potential opportunities in the logistics industry in Pakistan, is estimated at approximately US $ 30.77 billion in 2015. Key targets set in the national development initiatives for the transportation sector include reduction in transportation costs, effective connectivity between rural areas and urban centres, inter-provincial high-speed connectivity. Also high priority is given for the development of integrated road/rail networks between economic hubs (including air, sea and dry ports) and high capacity transportation corridors connecting with major regional trading partners

Up-gradation of all major airports to trans-shipment hubs, development of cargo villages, modernization of rail transport, E-commerce, CPEC related investments in industrial centres and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will serve as primary macro drivers for logistics sector growth. CPEC related projects intend to upgrade and modernize road transport and related logistics infrastructure such as logistics park and establishment of cargo villages at major airports. Hence, high priority is given for road network development; private sector participation in logistics infrastructure development is likely to gain momentum.

Storage and Warehousing demand from CPEC related industrial corridors are likely to derive increased storage and warehousing requirements including cold chain logistics, establishment of Cargo Villages Ports will facilitate goods traffic to central Asian countries and evolve as a major transhipment hub in the region.

Freight forwarding opportunities expected to increase due to increasing trade activities through Karachi and Port Qasim. Trade reforms expected to increase volume of trade with increase in inter and intra-regional trade. Development of new port at Gwadar generates demand for warehousing, special economic zone, road and railway infrastructure network. As the connectivity and linkage improves, this port will emerge as one of the major transhipment hub in the region - transhipment goods to China, Central Asian countries

Energy and Transportation sectors are expected to see high growth due to increased investment relating to CPEC and National Transportation Plans between 2016 and 2020. This is expected to growth of transportation and warehousing segments between 2016 and 2020.

http://www.frost.com/sublib/display-report.do?id=9AB2-00-57-00-00&src=ww2

Riaz Haq said...

“Doesn’t it just look like Mars?” says a Pakistan Army lieutenant colonel, as laborers toil under the blinding sun, building a road across the barren deserts of Balochistan.

Against a backdrop of scorched mountains, workers cut steel bars and prepare rock for crushing near a viaduct that crosses a dry river bed. In the distance, a truck kicks up dust, bringing materials to the site. Army vehicles patrol the road with signal jammers, while snipers scan the hills—the lair of armed separatists and bandits until a military campaign cleared most of them out a few years ago.

This is Chinese President Xi Jinping’s biggest gambit in his so-called One Belt, One Road project to rebuild the ancient Silk Road, a trading route connecting China to the Arabian Sea that slices through the Himalayas and crosses deserts and disputed territory to reach the ancient fishing port of Gwadar, about 500 miles by boat from Dubai.

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The project includes coal-fired, solar and wind power stations and a network of highways running 3,000 kilometers down the length of the country, from the freezing passes of the Karakoram Highway to the Arabian Sea. They will run through Kashmir, an area claimed by both India and Pakistan that is subject to frequent border clashes, and restive Balochistan, which Pakistan annexed in 1948.
“The energy policy was there for anyone to come and invest, but others were just looking at the political risk,” Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said in an interview in Islamabad on July 25. “China took a bet on Pakistan when others were shy.”

---------


The cornerstone of the project is Gwadar, 30 minutes from the border with Iran, or an eight-hour drive from Karachi along a two-lane coastal highway that twists through jagged weather-beaten hills and across arid dust-blown plains.
Bought from the Sultanate of Oman in the 1950s, Gwadar is not connected to Pakistan’s power grid, using electricity imported from Iran, also a major source of fuel and consumer goods, much of it smuggled across the border.
Kids here play soccer, rather than the cricket that is popular elsewhere in Pakistan, wearing jerseys of European stars like England captain Wayne Rooney and France’s Paul Pogba. For centuries, the city looked to the sea for its wealth. Wooden fishing boats clustered in the bay haul lobsters and jumbo shrimp that now find their way to China and other markets in East Asia.

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For 26-year-old Mohammad Younis, Chinese money has meant an escape from needing to find a job at sea. As a teenager he joined a gang of fuel smugglers, driving pickups from Iran. After the authorities clamped down, he landed a job as a driver at the Pearl Continental, a five-star hotel built in 2006 that hosts Chinese engineers.
The hotel plans to triple capacity within five years and add office and apartment blocks, said General Manager Salman Saeed Khan.
“Development is happening at a faster pace than ever before, now that the Chinese have come,” said Younis. “It’s good. We will get jobs.”


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-29/china-s-new-silk-road-hinges-on-a-small-pakistan-port

Riaz Haq said...

#China and #Pakistan pin hopes on Arabian Sea port of #Gwadar. #CPEC https://www.ft.com/content/06388212-855b-11e6-8897-2359a58ac7a5 … via @FT

From the window of his plush office, Dostain Jamaldini, the moustachioed chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority, looks upon the mostly deserted, three-berth deep seaport that he argues could one day rival Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore.

Presently, no cargo ship is visible in the tranquil Arabian Sea waters — just the small fishing trawlers.

But Mr Jamaldini says the empty port, built with Chinese financial and technical help at a cost of $248m, finished nearly a decade ago and barely used since, will buzz with traffic by December 2017. By that time, Gwadar should be linked by road to the rest of Pakistan, a key part of the plan to create a vibrant and bustling hub.

“Gwadar has the potential to become one of the world’s biggest ports,” he says. “Once we have connectivity, the port will see traffic. We are now waiting for the road.”

The long-anticipated road is slated to be a modern highway network that seamlessly links Gwadar to China’s Xinjiang province, giving the landlocked Chinese region access to the Indian Ocean. A train should run alongside and Beijing also wants to build oil pipelines from Gwadar to western China, potentially a quicker and easier route for supply from the Gulf.

Yet realising this ambitious vision requires extensive ground infrastructure in Balochistan — one of Pakistan’s poorest, most troubled provinces, with a long history of armed separatist insurgency. Analysts say the region’s volatility could prove an obstacle to realising the $46bn China-Pakistan economic corridor.

In August, Quetta, Balochistan’s provincial capital, was rocked by a sophisticated suicide bomb that killed 70 people, many of them lawyers. Pakistan — which has established a 15,000-man security force to protect the infrastructure and the Chinese engineers — publicly called the attack an attempt to disrupt the massive development.

------
Prime minister Narendra Modi electrified Indians — and raised the hackles of the Pakistan establishment — in August when he proclaimed New Delhi’s moral support for residents of Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province.
Islamabad has long accused its rival, India, of covertly assisting Balochistan’s separatist insurgents. But former US officials say Washington has never found evidence of Indian military aid beyond New Delhi’s hospitality for Baluchi leaders. Speculation is mounting that New Delhi could be poised to do what Pakistan has always suspected — as it seeks a new, more muscular approach to a neighbour that it blames for numerous terror attacks on its soil.
But security analysts say the prospect of Indian aid for Baluchi rebels is limited by its lack of direct access to the territory. “Actual physical assistance is going to be incredibly difficult,” says Sumit Ganguly, an Indiana University professor. “Geography imposes a certain kind of constraint.”
Chinese analysts also play down the likelihood of India deliberately targeting a Chinese-developed infrastructure project. “It is unlikely that India will act to directly disrupt the CPEC,” Mao Siwei, China’s former consul-general in Kolkata, told the Financial Times. “But strained India-Pakistan relations are extremely detrimental.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India and #Iran Slow to Develop #Chabahar Port as #China Builds Rival Hub at #Gwadar. #CPEC http://bloom.bg/2dHPVbw via @markets

When the leaders of India, Iran and Afghanistan gathered in Tehran in the spring for a ceremony marking India’s development of a strategic Iranian port, they recited Persian poetry and said their partnership would “alter the course of history.”
On a recent visit, roughly 13 years after India first agreed to develop the port of Chabahar, a single ship floated at the main jetty. Most of the cargo containers scattered in an asphalt lot bore the logo of the state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines. In an adjacent harbor, a dozen wooden dhows, or traditional fishing boats, bobbed in the water.
Months after the ceremony in May and pledges by India to inject $500 million into the project, the much-heralded port of Chabahar remains a sleepy outpost – as well as a shadow of the Chinese-built port of Gwadar, 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the east across Iran’s border with Pakistan.
“What you’re seeing is the problem with many of the Indian commitments abroad,” said Sameer Patil, an analyst at Gateway House, a research organization in Mumbai. “Once a prime minister makes that commitment, the parties find it difficult to move the process forward. The Indian bureaucracy takes its sweet time.”

Chabahar was supposed to be an easy win: India would bankroll a hub to rival the China-Pakistan partnership at Gwadar, Iran would get a major ocean port outside the Strait of Hormuz and spur growth in its poor eastern region, and Afghanistan would gain road and rail links to a deep-water port that could boost its war-ravaged economy. But more than a decade on, the strategic asset is languishing, even as China sinks $45 billion into the China Pakistan Economic Corridor that winds down to Gwadar.

“The slowness comes from these small things,” said Mosadeghi, who heads the economic section at Iran’s embassy in New Delhi. “Both sides want to expedite this.”
For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chabahar could aid his goals of integrating South Asia’s economies and boosting India’s stature in the region. However, the slow pace of its development has drawn criticism.
“With China and Pakistan developing Gwadar just a few kilometers away, India cannot afford either delay or inattention to this vital port,” said Shashi Tharoor, a lawmaker with India’s opposition Congress Party and chairman of a parliamentary committee on foreign affairs.
Chabahar could be a linchpin for the region’s economy. It’s close to the western Indian ports of Kandla, Mundra and Mumbai and could help India’s farmers get cheaper access to fertilizers and other commodities from central Asia and beyond.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan and #Iran in talks over #CPEC joining. #India #Chabahar #China #Gwadar

http://www.business-standard.com/article/international/pakistan-and-iran-in-talks-over-cpec-joining-116100900392_1.html

Iran, which is keen to join the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, has started talks with Pakistan to extend the ambitious project to the oil-rich nation.

Iran's envoy to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost held talks with CPEC Projects Director Zahir Shah to discuss fields in which Iran would be able to participate and play an "active" role in the CPEC, Pakistan Today newspaper reported.

Iran had showed willingness to become part of the CPEC in a recent meeting between President Hasan Rouhani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York last month.


"Iran's different private sectors have huge capabilities in different fields including technical, engineering, energy projects, road and construction, building energy transmission line and are fully prepared to participate in different projects of CPEC," said Honardoost.

The ambassador also stressed that Iran is ready to meet the energy needs of Pakistan, including natural gas and electricity, which is crucially important for Pakistan to move faster on completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Riaz Haq said...

GWADAR: First Chinese ship finally arrived at Gwadar port that is center of $46 billion China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) project between Beijing and Islamabad, Samaa reported Sunday.
The project is the beginning of a journey of prosperity of Pakistan. The economic corridor is about 3000 Kilometres long consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect China’s Xinjiang province to rest of the world through Pakistan’s Gwadar port.
To strengthen economic activities at the port, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has recently unveiled five developmental projects for Gwadar.
These are Free Trade Zone, Business Complex of Gwadar Port Authority, Pak-China Government Primary School Faqir Colony, Sawar and Shadikor dams and Gwadar University.
Gwadar, the nerve centre of CPEC, is fast transforming into an international city. Gwadar has the potential to become a world class sea port and a place which is not only important for Pakistan, but also for the region and the world. – Samaa

http://www.samaa.tv/economy/2016/10/first-chinese-ship-docks-at-gwadar-port/

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #cement sales up 16% in October on #infrastructure development. #CPEC https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/163071-Cement-sales-up-16pc-in-October-on-infrastructure-development …

Cement sales rose 15.88 percent month-on-month in October due to a rise in infrastructure development in Pakistan; although its exports fell almost two percent in the same month on a declining share in the Afghanistan’s market, industry data showed on Monday.

The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) data showed that domestic sales stood at 3.008 million tons in October, while exports were recorded at 0.518 million tons. Total cement dispatches stood at 3.527 million tons, depicting a growth of 12.87 percent month-on-month (MoM).

An association’s spokesperson said the industry’s capacity utilisation logged at more than 92 percent in October.

In October, exports to Afghanistan decreased 23.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 0.193 million tons. Exports to India increased 27 percent YoY to 0.110 million tons in the same month.

Despite Pakistan-India tension, the growth was surprising. The spokesperson, however, said the uptrend might not continue given the unabated border skirmishes.

Cement exports to India are mainly through Wagah border and southern coast of India.

The data showed that cement sales grew 11.26 percent in the first four months (July-Oct) of the 2015/16 fiscal year. Exports also increased 9.57 percent in the same period.

In July-Oct, exports to Afghanistan slid 11.74 percent, while those to India climbed 101.88 percent.

The industry official expressed concern over a sharp rise in coal prices, impacting the cost of production. Coal price, which stood at $54/ton in May, increased to $105/ton.

Manufacturers urged the government to take measures to boost the investment in real estate sector and housing construction.

Currently, the cement industry is mostly depending on infrastructure development projects.

“A sustained growth in housing construction is essential to absorb the additional capacities that would be operational in the next two years,” the official said.

Insight Securities, in one report, said the local cement industry unveiled 23 million tons of expansion plans with around $2.5 billion investment.

Alone Lucky Cement, the country’s leading cement producer, announced to raise its production capacity by 1.25 million tons. A Chinese firm is also mulling to entering the market through a possible acquisition, indicating a jump in output.

The officials said local cement makers are planning an expansion to retain the market share.

The $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, comprising a wide range of infrastructure development, gave a rise to construction activities.

The growth in housing apartment constructions around the country also increased the cement intakes.

Riaz Haq said...

Fast track completion of CPEC projects to change the infrastructure development landscape of the country

Western Route of China-Pakistan Economic will be completed by 2018. Gawadar-Quetta Road will be completed by next month, ahead of its scheduled time. Now Gwadar is connected with Quetta, Afghanistan, Central Asian states and rest of the country through this route. Work on Dera Ismail Khan-Quetta Road has also been initiated. Dera Ismail Khan-Burhan Road will be completed by year 2018. Special attention has been given to Sindh and Balochistan in CPEC projects.

http://www.radio.gov.pk/07-Nov-2016/fast-track-completion-of-cpec-projects-to-change-the-infrastructure-development-landscape-of-the

Riaz Haq said...

#Chinese ship with 300 containers to depart from #Gwadar Port on Sunday. #Pakistan #CPEC https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/163792-Gwadar-Port-opening-on-Sunday …

The civil and military leadership of China and Pakistan will open international port at Gwadar on Sunday. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif will see off Chinese containers leaving for Africa.

Heads of the armed forces, diplomats, chief ministers of Balochistan and other provinces and other dignitaries will be invited for this event in the next 48 hours.

Defying designs of India and its allies, loading of 300 containers will be completed on Saturday and they will depart from the port the next day.

To counter Gwadar, India has invested $12 million in Iran’s Chaubahar port, which is no match to Gwadar port. Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri is going to China on invitation next month.

Riaz Haq said...

#Chinese ship at #GwadarPort carrying containers headed to #Africa #MidEast via #Pakistan land route. #CPEC #China http://www.smh.com.au/world/new-silk-road-first-large-chinese-shipment-passes-through-key-pakistani-port-20161113-gsohoi.html
"Pakistan is located at the intersection of three engines of growth in Asia - South Asia, China and Central Asia," Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said at a ceremony on Sunday.
"CPEC will help in integrating these regions into an economic zone offering great opportunities for people of the region as well as investors from all over the world."
A Pakistan Navy soldier stands guard while a loaded Chinese ship prepares to depart, at Gwadar port.A Pakistan Navy soldier stands guard while a loaded Chinese ship prepares to depart, at Gwadar port. Photo: AP
Army chief General Raheel Sharif also attended Sunday's ceremony at the port, which is expected mostly to see imports of building materials in the next year before eventually becoming a gateway for goods from western China's Xinjiang province.
Chinese Container Ship Cosco Wellington left Gwadar today. Ship details:
IMO: 9484417
MMSI: 477004600
Call Sign: VRME3
Flag: Hong Kong [HK]
AIS Vessel Type: Cargo
Gross Tonnage: 40465
Deadweight: 49959 t
Length Overall x Breadth Extreme: 261.1m × 32.25m
Year Built: 2013
Status: Active

http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:684942/mmsi:477004600/imo:9484417/vessel:COSCO_WELLINGTON

Riaz Haq said...

#Iran, #India trade charges on delay of #Chabahar port. #Gwadar #Pakistan #Afghanistan http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/iran-india-trade-charges-on-delay-of-chabahar-port/articleshow/56990454.cms … via @economictimes

The Budget may have allotted Rs 150 crore for the development of Chabahar port in Iran, but it may not be enough to bring the long delayed project back to life as Tehran has not yet submitted a proposal for release of the fund despite several reminders, some officials say.

Indian government had set aside $235 million, or about Rs 150 crore, line of credit for the project since 2015 but is unable to release the first tranche of $150 million, they said.


"The funds cannot be released without paperwork and this has not yet reached the Indian government. Even reminders from EXIM Bank to Iran have not helped," a person familiar with the matter told ET.

"There are apparently no reasons behind Iran's delay in submitting the proposal for the release of loan," the person alleged.

Iranian government sources, however, told ET that the Indian side is delaying work on the project, but did not explain reasons for delay. The project was earlier delayed when the Iranian side unilaterally changed terms and conditions on the eve of the signing of MoU in 2015 by introducing a local stakeholder without consulting India, Indian sources said.


Riaz Haq said...

#China investment boosts #Pakistan's economic growth- #CPEC #infrastructure #power #ports #coal Nikkei Asian Review
http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Chinese-investment-boosts-Pakistan-s-economic-growth?page=2

More than $35 billion of the CPEC investment will be allocated to energy projects. Once completed by the end of next year, power generation projects are likely to help Pakistan overcome its crippling power shortages, a major bottleneck for growth. This is a big reason the CPEC is welcomed by many in Pakistan's industry, who say it is going to be a "game changer" for the country.

China also recognizes that the CPEC initiative will help secure the quickest trade route connecting the country's western Xinjiang region and other landlocked areas to the Arabian Sea, which could facilitate economic development in the Chinese hinterland. The infrastructure development initiative will also allow China to mitigate the problem of overcapacity at home by exporting materials and equipment to Pakistan.

There are proposals to develop a power plant, an airport and highways and other facilities particularly around the port of Gwadar on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, which is strategically important for China as it provides the country easy access to the sea.

-----

According to a local newspaper, $700 million of the $1.1 billion spent on CPEC-related projects in the July-September period last year was financed by loans from the China Development Bank. The amount is mainly earmarked for importing materials and equipment from China, which are needed to complete the projects.

Many in Pakistan have voiced concern over the country's rising debt obligations to China. Also, Chinese companies typically bring their own engineers and workers in large numbers to do work in Pakistan.

"Surging imports from China will damage local companies," said Ehsan A. Malik, CEO of the Pakistan Business Council, which represents 62 major companies and organizations. "Tax revenue and employment will not increase." He added, "CPEC may be a Trojan horse."

However, the logic of companies participating in CPEC is very simple. "We asked China, because nobody in the world finances coal projects," said Hussain Dawood, chairman of Dawood Hercules, a large Pakistani conglomerate that includes the Engro group, which is involved in the production of energy and chemicals.

"Investment in CPEC is not only from China," said Arif Habib, CEO of the Arif Habib group. "Companies from Germany, Denmark and Saudi Arabia are also showing interest."

Despite widespread concern about the health of China's economy, Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan's minister of planning and development, said confidently: "The CPEC projects are a high priority for Chinese companies because they can expect good returns. Even though the Chinese economy is slowing down, the companies still have huge cash reserves."

Many Japanese companies also think the best thing to do now is to take advantage of Chinese-built infrastructure in Pakistan to expand their own business. No matter who invested, if energy and infrastructure investment gains momentum, it could stimulate Pakistan's economy.

Amid all the speculation, Pakistan is moving toward its goal of becoming the next big emerging market by gradually shaking off its reputation for terrorism, corruption and political blunders.

Riaz Haq said...

It seems that only small European or island nations like Britain, Spain and Portugal focussed on building navies for "exploration" and "trade" that later led to colonization of America, Asia and Europe.

Henry Kissinger in his book "On China" explains why China failed to rule the world in spite of having a long coast and a large fleet in 1400s.

Kissinger traces this failure to the decision under a Ming ruler to disband its massive Navy in 1433 that was built by a Muslim Chinese Admiral Zeng He.

Here's an excerpt of "On China" by Henry Kissinger:

"Zeng He was a singular figure in the age of exploration: a Chinese Muslim eunuch conscripted into imperial service as a child, he fits no obvious historical precedent. At each stop on his journey, he formally proclaimed the magnificence of China's new Emperor, bestowed lavish gifts on the rulers he encountered, and invited them to travel in person or send envoys to China. There, they were to acknowledge their place in the Sinocentric world order by performing the ritual "kpwtow" to acknowledge the the Emperor's superiority. Yet beyond China's greatness and issuing invitations to portentous ritual, Zeng He displayed no territorial ambition. .....Zeng He's expeditions abruptly stopped in 1433, coincident with the recurrence of threats along China's northern frontier. The next Emperor ordered the fleet dismantled and the records of Zeng He's voyages destroyed.

The expeditions were never repeated. Though Chinese traders continued to ply the routes Zeng He sailed, China's naval abilities faded---so much so that the Ming rulers' response to subsequent menace of piracy off China's southeast was to attempt forced migration of the coastal population ten miles inland."


https://books.google.com/books?id=4pFfYliTIMkC&pg=PT19&dq=chinese+admiral+zheng+he+kissinger+on+china&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj0pP3W6KbSAhUFMGMKHYj4CjAQ6wEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=chinese%20admiral%20zheng%20he%20kissinger%20on%20china&f=true

Riaz Haq said...

#Land rush around #Pakistan's #Gwadar port triggered by #Chinese investment | Reuters #CPEC

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idINKBN16215Q
Pakistani real estate giant Rafi Group made a ten-fold profit last year from its sale of hundreds of acres of land in the remote fishing town of Gwadar, acquired soon after the government announced plans for a deep-sea port there.

The windfall came after 12 years of waiting patiently for the Gwadar port to emerge as the centrepiece of China's ambitious plans for a trade and energy corridor stretching from the Persian Gulf, across Pakistan, into western Xinjiang.

"We had anticipated the Chinese would need a route to the Arabian Sea," Rafi Group Chief Executive Shehriar Rafi told Reuters. "And today, all routes lead back to Gwadar."

Gwadar forms the southern Pakistan hub of a $57-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of infrastructure and energy projects Beijing announced in 2014.

Since then, land prices have skyrocketed as property demand has spiked, and dozens of real estate firms want to cash in.

"Gwadar is a 'Made in China' brand and everyone wants a piece," said realtor Afzal Adil, one of several who shifted operations from the eastern city of Lahore in 2015.

Last year, Pakistan welcomed the first large shipment of Chinese goods at Gwadar, where the China Overseas Ports Holding Company Ltd took over operations in 2013. It plans to eventually handle 300 million to 400 million tons of cargo a year.

It also aims to develop seafood processing plants in a nearby free trade zone sprawled over 923 hectares (2,281 acres).

The route through Gwadar offers China its shortest path to the oil-rich Middle East, Africa, and most of the Western hemisphere, besides promising to open up remote, landlocked Xinjiang.

Last year, the Applied Economics Research Centre estimated the corridor would create 700,000 jobs in Pakistan and a Chinese newspaper recently put the number at more than 2 million.

Authorities have completed an expressway through Gwadar, which has a 350-km (218-mile) road network. A new international airport kicks off next year, to handle an influx of hundreds of Chinese traders and officials expected to live near the port.

The volume of Gwadar property searches surged 14-fold on Pakistan's largest real estate database, Zameen.com, between 2014 and 2016, up from a prior rate of a few hundred a month.

"It's like a gold rush," said Chief Executive Zeeshan Ali Khan. "Anyone who is interested in real estate, be it an investor or a developer, is eyeing Gwadar."

Prices, which have risen two- to four-fold on average, are climbing "on a weekly basis," said Saad Arshed, the Pakistan managing director of online real estate marketplace Lamudi.pk.

Regional fishermen have held strikes during the last two years, to protest against being displaced by the port.

To keep pace with the interest, urban officials are struggling to computerise land management and record-keeping. "We are trying to upgrade as fast as we can," said Zakir Majeed, an official of the Gwadar Development Authority (GDA).

But Gwadar lacks basic education and health facilities, in contrast to the gleaming towers and piped drinking water of the "smart city" envisioned by the GDA.

"For commercial projects, things are moving fast," Lamudi's Arshed said. "But people actually living there, that will take a long time."

Port officials expect the population to hit 2 million over the next two decades, from about 185,000 now.

Riaz Haq said...

Chinese investors are contemplating to build a chemical and automobile city in Gwadar under the umbrella of #CPEC

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1341071/gwadar-china-build-automobile-city/

Chinese investors are contemplating to build a chemical and automobile city in Gwadar under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

According to a private news channel, sources linked to CPEC project stated that the Chinese authorities have already initiated paperwork on said projects, which reflects their seriousness.

Analysts have advised owners of local automobile industry to start joint ventures with Chinese as this would help in transfer of technology as well as boost the local industry. Earlier, China announced to set up a steel factory under CPEC apart from various other projects.

China is developing the Gwadar port as a strategic and commercial hub under its ‘One-Belt One-Road’ initiative that promises shared regional prosperity. CPEC is one of many arteries of the ‘One-Belt One-Road’

In 2013, Pakistan handed over the Gwadar port to the Chinese company by annulling a deal with a Singapore company that could not develop the port after taking over in 2007. The ECC further approved amendments in the Gwadar Port Concession Agreement for operating and developing the Gwadar port and free zone.


On October 31, hundreds of Chinese trucks loaded with goods rolled into the Sost dry port in Gilgit-Baltistan as a multibillion-dollar project between Pakistan and China formally became operational.

The corridor is about 3,000-kilometre long consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect China’s Xinjiang province to the rest of the world through Gwadar port.

Riaz Haq said...

Karachi port is the world's 4th busiest trans shipment port in the world, after Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_transshipment_ports

Riaz Haq said...

India shouldn’t drag China into dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir: Expert

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/india-shouldn-t-drag-china-into-dispute-with-pakistan-over-kashmir-expert/story-r03UI9SKyLs4nBIwfbjXEL.html

China needs to have access to ports such as Gwadar in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to move its huge shipments of cargo to other parts of the world, said Wang Zhan, a deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s Parliament, and president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

“I know India has lot of disagreements with the CPEC to Gwadar port. But if you are Chinese, considering (the situation in) Malacca Strait and the South China Sea, you would be looking for alternative passageways. We have so much cargo, we surely need the ports. We have to pass by the Indian Ocean to reach Europe,” he said.

Speaking exclusively to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the just-concluded NPC session, Wang said: “I know India and Pakistan have a dispute over (Kashmir.) If we go through the Kashmir area, which belongs to India, its a problem of sovereignty (for India) but now Pakistan has the right of administration (over PoK). So, it’s a problem between India and Pakistan and doesn’t relate to China.”

Wang, who is also managing director of the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, said China wasn’t the first country to bring up the Silk Road plan to connect regions and continents.

“Japan brought up the Silk Road in 1990s, an American Harvard professor brought it up in 2005, and Hillary Clinton brought it up in 2011. They all brought up the Silk Road concept earlier than China,” he said, adding some proposals were north to south and China’s east to west.

“If all the projects in these plans could be realised, the countries touched in the plans would definitely develop, and the economic development would decrease the element of war and chaos,” he added.

Wang said China’s increasing investments in infrastructure, such as ports, in South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka is purely for economic reasons.

“For sure it’s for economic reasons. You can know the answer by the map. India is a peninsula, the trade between Europe and China have to pass by the sea near India and Sri Lanka. It’s decided by geography. We can’t go by Antarctica. If you think from China’s view, you will do the same,” he said.

Referring to China’s objections to India drilling for oil in the South China Sea, Wang blamed Vietnam for the confusion.

“In the 1970s, the Vietnamese had completely agreed that South China Sea belongs to China. Later, they occupied 29 islands and built infrastructure. India drilled for oil in the same area, so we protested. The South China Sea is China’s lifeline. It’s not necessary for India to get involved in the South China Sea disputes,” Wang said.

Riaz Haq said...

Feature: Port co-built with China fuels Pakistan's economic engine
Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-03 17:05:20|Editor: ying

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-04/03/c_136180263.htm

by Liu Tian
ISLAMABAD, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Gwadar, an poorly-known port town previously in Pakistan has been becoming a new economic engine for the country with the construction of a free zone co-built with China.
"We have finished 60 percent of the first-phase construction for the port's free zone, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, one year earlier than we planned," Hu Yaozong, deputy general manager of the Gwadar Free Zone Company, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Chinese engineers and their Pakistani counterparts are working around clock in the construction site with the hope of seeing the free zone is open to operation as early as possible.
The free zone is a key step towards developing the Gwadar port into an important regional hub that will benefit not only south Asia, but also the countries in central Asia and the Middle East.
The free zone, which covers about 923 hectares of land and will be developed in four phases. It is designed to take advantage of Balochistan's rich fishery and mineral resources to develop relevant industries for overseas market and to develop light industry for the domestic consumption.
As a part of the light industry plan, China's Linyi overseas market, a comprehensive shopping mall project, will soon be introduced into the free zone.
"It is quite alike the renowned Yiwu small commodities market in China. The Linyi market in Gwadar will develop an overseas warehouse so as to make their goods not only available in the Pakistan market, but also in markets around the region," said Hu.
According to Hu, the first round of investment has almost completed with projects on fishery and electric motors settled and business center enterprises moved in.
The second-phase construction of the free zone is featured with a huge stainless steel factory, which, Hu added, would create a considerable number of jobs for locals in Gwadar, which has a population of less than 100,000.
With the further development of the port and free zone, work forces in other villages around Gwadar are expected to flow into Gwadar.
According to the deputy general manager, a training school donated by China will be completed soon. After short-term training, local people are expected to find a position in the developing Gwadar, he said.
Munir Ahmad Jan, director general of the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), also shows high expectations on Gwadar's future.
Besides Chinese and Pakistani investors, a lot of investors from other countries have come to the GPA to consult on business opportunities in the free zone, he said.
In 2016, the Pakistani government issued a financial act which ensured a 23-year tax exemption policy for the Gwadar free zone in a bid to attract more international investors.
Jan said that as businesspeople have seen the bright future of the Gwadar port, a lot of Pakistani real estate investors came to Gwadar to purchase land.
He said the land prices now in Gwadar are increasing fast and real estate related industries have witnessed real momentum in the small city.

Riaz Haq said...

Feature: Port co-built with China fuels Pakistan's economic engine
Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-03 17:05:20|Editor: ying

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-04/03/c_136180263.htm

Jan said that as businesspeople have seen the bright future of the Gwadar port, a lot of Pakistani real estate investors came to Gwadar to purchase land.
He said the land prices now in Gwadar are increasing fast and real estate related industries have witnessed real momentum in the small city.
"We feel that Gwadar's free zone area needs further expansion and we have requested for more area," said the official.
"China and Pakistan have an equally long history, but China developed rapidly due to sincere Chinese leadership and now it has become the leading economy in the world. We shall try to maximize our experiences, cooperation and assistance from China to develop our own country and improve common people's lives," Jan told Xinhua.
The development of the Gwadar port is not only in the economic field, but also at a broader social level.
A vessel carrying construction material from a China-donated emergency center reached Gwadar in March.
The medical center, which will come into service as early as in May, is designed to carry out basic diagnosis and treatment, conduct small surgeries and emergency rescues.
It will initially be operated by Chinese medical teams and be gradually handed over to the Pakistani side in the future.
In September last year, a China-donated primary school came into use in Gwadar. The school had planned to enroll about 150 pupils, but more than 300 students of different grades attend the school as many locals believed that the school had better teachers and facilities.
"We are very thankful to the Chinese people who have long been very active in Pakistan's infrastructural development. I think our relationship will be further strengthened with the passage of time because of the sincere leadership on both sides," Jan concluded.


Riaz Haq said...

Indian media on Bunji and Bhasha dams in Gilgit Baltistan:

China To Invest $27 Billion In Construction Of Two Mega Dams In Pakistan-Occupied Gilgit-Baltistan

https://swarajyamag.com/insta/china-pakistan-plan-for-construction-of-two-mega-dams-in-gilgit-baltistan

China and Pakistan have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of two mega dams in Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state that remains under latter’s illegal occupation. The MoU was signed during the visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Beijing for participation in the recently concluded Belt and Road Initiative.

The two dams, called Bunji and Diamer-Bhasha hydroelectricity projects, will have the capacity of generating 7,100MW and 4,500MW of electricity respectively. China will fund the construction of the two dams, investing $27 billion in the process, a report authored by Brahma Chellaney in the Times of India has noted.

According to Chellaney, India does not have a single dam measuring even one-third of Bunji in power generation capacity. The total installed hydropower capacity in India’s part of the state does not equal even Diamer-Bhasha, the smaller of the two dams.

The two dams are part of Pakistan’s North Indus River Cascade, which involves construction of five big water reservoirs with an estimated cost of $50 billion. These dams, together, will have the potential of generating approximately 40,000MW of hydroelectricity. Under the MoU, China’s National Energy Administration would oversee the financing and funding of these projects.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's plan to develop #Iran's key #Chabahar port faces #US headwinds. #Gwadar #CPEC #Pakistan http://reut.rs/2sL5iTx via @Reuters

Western manufacturers are shying away from supplying equipment for an Iranian port that India is developing for fear the United States may reimpose sanctions on Tehran, Indian officials say, dealing a blow to New Delhi's strategic ambitions in the region.

Lying on the Gulf of Oman along the approaches to the Straits of Hormuz, the port of Chabahar is central to India's hopes to crack open a transport corridor to Central Asia and Afghanistan that bypasses arch-rival Pakistan.

India committed $500 million to speed development of the port after sanctions on Iran were lifted following a deal struck between major powers and Tehran to curb its nuclear program in 2015.

But the state-owned Indian firm that is developing Chabahar is yet to award a single tender for supplying equipment such as cranes and forklifts, according to two government sources tracking India's biggest overseas infrastructure push.

U.S. President Donald Trump denounced the nuclear agreement on the campaign trail, and since taking office in January has accused Iran of being a threat to countries across the Middle East.

Swiss engineering group Liebherr and Finland's Konecranes (KCRA.HE) and Cargotec (CGCBV.HE) have told India Ports Global Pvt Ltd, which is developing the deep water port, they were unable to take part in the bids as their banks were not ready to facilitate transactions involving Iran due to the uncertainty over U.S. policy, the two officials said in separate conversations with Reuters.

These firms dominate the market for customized equipment to develop jetties and container terminals. One official said the first tender was floated in September, but attracted few bidders because of the fear of renewed sanctions. That fear has intensified since January.

"Now the situation is that we are running after suppliers," one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of matter.

A Konecranes spokeswoman declined to comment beyond confirming the company was not involved in the project.

Cargotec and Liebherr did not respond to requests for comment.

------

prodded in part by China's development of Gwadar port, which lies barely 100 km (60 miles) from Chabahar on the Pakistani coast, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has unveiled massive investment plans centered around the Iranian port, offering to help build railways, roads and fertilizer plants that could eventually amount to $15 billion.

So far, even an initial credit line of $150 million that India wants to extend to Iran for development of Chabahar has remained a non-starter as Tehran has not been able to do its part of work.

"They have not sought the loan from us because they haven't awarded the tenders, either because of lack of participation or banking problems," said the second government official.

Ambassador Kumar said the Iran had indicated it would be sending proposals shortly to tap the credit line.

Meena Singh Roy, who heads the West Asia center at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, a New Delhi think-tank, said increasing tension between Washington and Tehran would have an impact on the port project.

"The Chabahar Project has strategic significance for India," she said. "However ... nothing much seems to be moving due to new uncertainties in the region."

Riaz Haq said...

Iran and Pakistan: An Interview with Alex Vatanka

, Iran and Pakistan: Security, Diplomacy and American Influence


https://lawfareblog.com/iran-and-pakistan-interview-alex-vatanka


So much of U.S. policy in South and West Asia has been determined by Washington’s relationship with two countries: Iran and Pakistan. But the relationship between these two regional powers has been in many ways as influential as their swings from allies to frenemies to adversaries with the United States. The ties between Iran and Pakistan run deep, and have shifted over time from a deep affinity to regional rivalry and proxy conflict. Underneath it all has been the two countries’ pragmatic self-interest. “Neither country has ever genuinely considered optimum relations as an end in itself,” Alex Vatanka writes in the introduction to his book, Iran and Pakistan: Security, Diplomacy and American Influence. “For both Iran and Pakistan, bilateral closeness was always meant to reap something strategically larger.” But over the past seven decades, since Pakistan’s inception, their relationship has been buffeted by global and regional competition, by the Cold War, the scramble for Afghanistan, and the Iran-Saudi rivalry.

I recently finished reading Vatanka’s book and had the opportunity to discuss the history of the Iran-Pakistan relationship with him by phone. “In this relationship, for the United States watching is not an option,” he told me. “This is a relationship involving two large countries, one is already nuclear armed, one is a threshold nuclear-armed state, combined something like 300 million people, almost the size of the U.S. population. It's a big market potentially if we wanted to integrate them. There are a whole host of areas where we can cooperate in terms of counterterrorism, trying to bring some sort of stability to Afghanistan. If you let the diplomats, perhaps, and economic entry have a bigger say and not look at the relationship purely through the security prism, which is where we are now, then this relationship can improve and become more healthy than it is today. It's clearly unhealthy today.” Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.



Could you start by explaining why you wanted to focus on Iran and Pakistan?

Almost for the last 20 years, I've been covering Iranian affairs—domestic, foreign, and a lot of regional dynamics involving Iran and it's neighbors. When you look at Iran's immediate neighborhood, including its 15 immediate neighbors (if you include its land and maritime neighbors), there’s plenty of literature on most of the neighbors' relations with Iran. Certainly among those neighbors, we'd consider them the big neighbors, Saudi, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan—Pakistan stands out as one that hasn't really been tackled in the context of its relations with Iran. So I thought, here's a gap, here's a deficiency, and why not try to see if we can find out more about it. That was really the beginning of that research idea, project, and the subsequent book that came out of it.

I think the history alone is really interesting, and there's a lot of that in the book, but I think there's a lot more to it than just the historical narrative. I think if you look at these two large countries, as they sit in Asia, anyone who wants to figure out how the large power politics, the race for influence in this part of the world happened, needs to take into account what drives Iran and Pakistan and where they come from in term of their past, where they are today, and where they are likely to go forward.

Riaz Haq said...

Development firm announce plans for first master community development for private market

"We believe Gwadar is following in the footsteps of Shenzen which represented a historic population rise, from a population of 30,000 in 1980 to 11 million people in 2017. Gwadar is poised to see massive population growth due to incoming industries, and we expect this to be one of the most strategic cities in South Asia."

http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/china-pak-investments-acquires-project-in-gwadar-pakistan-648608313.html

Leading private investment house China Pak Investment Corporation today announced its acquisition of the 3.6 million square foot International Port City project in the city of Gwadar. The investment company is currently revising the scheme's plans in line with international developments standards and will be developing the first of its kind $150 million gated master community tailor-made for the expected 500,000 incoming Chinese professionals expected in Gwadar by 2022.

(Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/564249/China_Pak_Hills_Phase_1.jpg )
The project which is expected to be renamed China Pak Hills hails an exciting new phase in the development of the port of Gwadar, the 'Gateway City' to the $62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the largest unilateral foreign direct investment from one nation into another. The CPEC is set to catapult Pakistan's stature as a key global trade and economic hub and includes a bouquet of projects currently under construction that will not only improve Pakistan's infrastructure, but will deepen the economic and political ties between China and Pakistan.

Hao-Yeh Chang, Corporate Communications Director for China Pak Investments Corporation commented, "We believe Gwadar is following in the footsteps of Shenzen which represented a historic population rise, from a population of 30,000 in 1980 to 11 million people in 2017. Gwadar is poised to see massive population growth due to incoming industries, and we expect this to be one of the most strategic cities in South Asia."

The final master plan for China Pak Hills is currently being refined in Hong Kong, and will feature a range of state-of-the-art amenities including an open-air shopping boulevard; indoor shopping mall; restaurants and eateries; an international school & nursery; six community parks; indoor and outdoor sports facilities including tennis courts and a resident's gymnasium; a water desalination plant and recycling centre. China Pak Hills will also be home to the Gwadar Financial District, catering to the growing financial sector and adding much needed A Grade office space to Gwadar's growing market.

One Investments Ltd, a UK-based property investment company, headed by Zeeshan Shah, have been appointed as Global Master - Agent for the Development. "China Pak Hills is a unique and exciting opportunity. The level of investment and commitment made by the Chinese government in the CPEC guarantees that Gwadar is going to be one of the most important trading and access points in the World. Its geographic position, combined with the infrastructure being created through the CPEC means that it can only grow exponentially."

The China Pak Hills master-community is being developed by China Pak Investments and is soon expected to announce options for private sale of limited plots to end purchasers.

Riaz Haq said...

Experts divided on economic benefit of Chabahar Port
SANJAY KUMAR | Published — Monday 4 December 2017

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1203746/world

India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that the port would “provide alternative access to landlocked Afghanistan into regional and global markets… an integrated development of connectivity infrastructure including ports, road and rail networks would open up greater opportunities for regional market access and contribute towards the economic integration and benefit of the three countries and the region.”
However, Phunchok Stobdan, a former Indian ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and a distinguished academic, questions the economic viability of the port.
“In terms of slogans, yes, you can call it a new era of connectivity. But how much substance is there, we don’t know. It is just a beginning. It is more about political opportunism than economic benefits, as I see it,” said Stobdan, who is also a senior fellow at New Delhi-based think tank, Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA).
“What do you want to export and what you want to import?” he continued. “There are no high-value items to trade between India and Afghanistan.
“I feel the Indian government should also work out some mechanism to open the Wagah border,” he continued. “But Pakistan has been using the strategy of denial for very long time. It is working in their favor. It is a larger political issue; it is not an economic or connectivity issue.”
Stobdan also claimed that “the significance lies in the fact that, before Trump puts (forward) lots of objections, India has been brought into the picture.”
The Chabahar port, located in the Sistan-Balochistan province of Iran’s southern coast, is seen by some as a counter to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port — which is being developed with Chinese investment and is located around 85 km from Chabahar — and, by extension to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“We can say lot, but the economy will speak,” Stobdan said. “You think the Chinese did not know about the Chabahar port? They knew. The market is in Pakistan. The market is in India. The market is not in the Sististan-Baluchistan area.”
Afghan ambassador Abdali said: “The Chabahar port will be open to everyone. All the stakeholders and I hope that no one thinks of it as a counter to any other initiatives. At the same time, I consider it a major development for the whole region.”

Riaz Haq said...

Hoping to extend maritime reach, #China is lavishing vast amounts of aid on a small #Pakistani fishing town of #Gwadar to win over locals and build a commercial deep-water port that #America and #India suspect may also one day serve Chinese navy. #CPEC

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-silkroad-pakistan-insight/hoping-to-extend-maritime-reach-china-lavishes-aid-on-pakistan-town-idUSKBN1EB00J

Beijing has built a school, sent doctors and pledged about $500 million in grants for an airport, hospital, college and badly-needed water infrastructure for Gwadar, a dusty town whose harbor juts out into the Arabian Sea, overlooking some of the world’s busiest oil and gas shipping lanes.

The grants include $230 million for a new international airport, one of the largest such disbursements China has made abroad, according to researchers and Pakistani officials.

The handouts for the Gwadar project is a departure from Beijing’s usual approach in other countries. China has traditionally derided Western-style aid in favor of infrastructure projects for which it normally provides loans through Chinese state-owned commercial and development banks.

“The concentration of grants is quite striking,” said Andrew Small, an author of a book on China-Pakistan relations and a Washington-based researcher at the German Marshall Fund think tank.

“China largely doesn’t do aid or grants, and when it has done them, they have tended to be modest.”

Pakistan has welcomed the aid with open hands. However, Beijing’s unusual largesse has also fueled suspicions in the United States and India that Gwadar is part of China’s future geostrategic plans to challenge U.S. naval dominance.

“It all suggests that Gwadar, for a lot of people in China, is not just a commercial proposition over the longer term,” Small said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Beijing and Islamabad see Gwadar as the future jewel in the crown of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative to build a new “Silk Road” of land and maritime trade routes across more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

The plan is to turn Gwadar into a trans-shipment hub and megaport to be built alongside special economic zones from which export-focused industries will ship goods worldwide. A web of energy pipelines, roads and rail links will connect Gwadar to China’s western regions.

Port trade is expected to grow from 1.2 million tonnes in 2018 to about 13 million tonnes by 2022, Pakistani officials say. At the harbor, three new cranes have been installed and dredging will next year deepen the port depth to 20 meters at five berths.

But the challenges are stark. Gwadar has no access to drinking water, power blackouts are common and separatist insurgents threaten attacks against Chinese projects in Gwadar and the rest of Baluchistan, a mineral-rich province that is still Pakistan’s poorest region.

Security is tight, with Chinese and other foreign visitors driven around in convoys of soldiers and armed police.

Beijing is also trying to overcome the distrust of outsiders evident in Baluchistan, where indigenous Baloch fear an influx of other ethnic groups and foreigners. Many residents say the pace of change is too slow.

“Local people are not completely satisfied,” said Essar Nori, a lawmaker for Gwadar, adding that the separatists were tapping into that dissatisfaction.

19640909rk said...

Dear Riaz Bhai

now you can see the speed at which Chabahar has come up. Already trading started from this port. India spent $500 million on this project. But this is AID for Afghanistan. Not a single dollar will be charged to Afghan government. They will be free of Karachi port shackles. What China is offering Pakistan is not AID. It is loan at a very prohibitive interest rate of 6.5%. Pakistan economy is already in doldrums with lots of debt repayment looming ahead next year on-wards. When Pakistan has to start payment to Chinese from 2019, Pakistanis are not going to like it one bit.

Riaz Haq said...

First #Djibouti ... now #Pakistan's #Gwadar tipped to have #China's naval base. #India #Iran #Chabahar #Navy #Military #Hormuz #RedSea https://sc.mp/2CINAJb via @SCMP_News

Beijing plans to build its second offshore naval base near a strategically important Pakistani port following the opening of its first facility in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa last year.

Beijing-based military analyst Zhou Chenming said the base near the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea would be used to dock and maintain naval vessels, as well as provide other logistical support services.

“China needs to set up another base in Gwadar for its warships because Gwadar is now a civilian port,” Zhou said.

“It’s a common practice to have separate facilities for warships and merchant vessels because of their different operations. Merchant ships need a bigger port with a lot of space for warehouses and containers, but warships need a full range of maintenance and logistical support services.”

Another source close to the People’s Liberation Army confirmed that the navy would set up a base near Gwadar similar to the one already up and running in Djibouti.

“Gwadar port can’t provide specific services for warships ... Public order there is in a mess. It is not a good place to carry out military logistical support,” the source said.

The confirmation follows a report this week on Washington-based website The Daily Caller in which retired US Army Reserve colonel Lawrence Sellin said meetings between high-ranking Chinese and Pakistani military officers indicated Beijing would build a military base on the Jiwani peninsula near Gwadar and close to the Iranian border.

Sellin said the plan would include a naval base and an expansion of the existing airport on the peninsula, both requiring the establishment of a security zone and the forced relocation of long-time residents.


Gwadar port is a key part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a centrepiece of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s broader “Belt and Road Initiative” to link China through trade and infrastructure to Africa and Europe and beyond. The corridor is a multibillion-dollar set of infrastructure projects linking China and Pakistan, and includes a series of road and transport links.

Sellin also said the Jiwani base could be “signs of Chinese militarisation of Pakistan, in particular, and in the Indian Ocean”.

Chinese military observers said Gwadar had great geostrategic and military importance to China but China was not about to “militarise” Pakistan.

Zhou said China wanted better access to the Indian Ocean, which was now largely limited to the Strait of Malacca in Southeast Asia. The Gwadar port could be a transit hub for sea and land routes once the corridor’s railway was up and running, helping improve and cut the cost of logistics for China.

“The Chinese naval flotilla patrolling in the Gulf of Aden and other warships escorting Chinese oil tankers in the Indian Ocean need a naval base for maintenance as well as logistical supplies because they can’t buy much of what they need in Pakistan,” Zhou said.

Rajeev Ranjan Chaturvedy, a research associate at the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, said India was well aware of China’s plans in Pakistan.

“China finds it very useful to use Pakistan against India and ignore India’s concerns, particularly on terrorism issues. That has created a lot of stress in the relationship between Beijing and Delhi,” he said.

“[But] Indian naval capabilities and experience in the Indian Ocean region are fairly good. Much better than Pakistan and China.”

Riaz Haq said...


Dubai vs Gwadar: port cities chart a course for share of world’s economy

By Ashraf Aboul-Yazid and 3 collaborators

https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/01/11/pakistan/dubai-vs-gwadar-port-cities-chart-a-course-for-share-of-worlds-economy/30686/

A strategic port at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in southern Pakistan is continuing to push its rival megaports in the United Arab Emirates, pitting the lesser-known Gwadar against Dubai in a bid to move goods faster and more cheaply to some of the most populated countries of the world.

“Many economic analysts believe that Gwadar is another Dubai emerging on the world’s map,” said Tariq al-Shammari, a writer and self-described activist, who wrote about the expansion of the Pakistani port for OpenDemocracy, a UK-based political website. “Gwadar port will become the main sea gate for Central Asia.”

As it becomes easier to send goods through Gwadar, Dubai may see a threat to its regional influence, al-Shammari said.

“This challenging point, recently, has caused a silent economic war in the Gulf of Oman between two groups of countries; Pakistan, China and Qatar on one side, India and the UAE on the other,” he wrote.

How the ports stack up

Dubai’s two major commercial ports — Port Rashid and Port Jebel Ali — provide significant revenue to the UAE. Jebel Ali has the biggest man-made harbor in the world and the biggest Middle East port, and more than 5,000 companies from 120 countries rely on its services for goods ranging from consumer items to heavy construction machinery.

Gwadar’s deep sea port is strategically located to provide easier access to the Gulf region and the Middle East for China, especially the northwest Xinjiang region, and central Asia countries. The overland distance from Gwadar to Kashgar, in China, is 1,500 miles, while it is another 2,500 miles to move across China to Shanghai. Cargo ships have to move double the distance, again, to reach the Middle East waters.

The Gwadar corridor will reduce the transport time for goods to Western China by about 60 or 70 per cent, according to Liu Ying, a research fellow at the Chongyang Institute who studied the economics of the port (The Telegraph).

China’s influence

The Gwadar port is a key project in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative (South China Morning Post), which seeks to build strong economic connections between China and the countries along the old Silk Road – and well beyond.

Gwadar was built with financial and technical assistance from China, which took operational control after the Port of Singapore Authority pulled out of a 40-year port management and development contract because it was unable to get the land it sought to develop a free trade zone. The Gwadar port had been unable to become fully operational because of unsettled issues between Islamabad and the port authority.

The pivot to China “will also enable the dragon to swim in the Indian Ocean, which is strategically important for China as it expands its influence across the region, according to The National, a newspaper based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

“To ensure the security of shipments along existing routes, a Chinese naval presence at Gwadar could also patrol the Indian Ocean sea lanes. Of concern to Washington and New Delhi is the Chinese naval presence near the Strait of Hormuz and its strategy of building a ‘string of pearls’ presence on the Indian Ocean rim,” the newspaper reported.

The Gwadar Development Authority is working on developing residential and commercial areas at the port, spurring growth in real estate and services. As observers note, some of the projects mirror those in Dubai, of which it may always be more of “sister city,” than a true rival (The Express Tribune).

Riaz Haq said...

Mega #oil city to be constructed in #Gwadar as part of #CPEC. Plan includes oil terminal and storage tanks, oil #refinery and #petrochemical #industrial complex. #Pakistan #China

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/271367-mega-oil-city-to-be-constructed-in-gwadar-under-cpec

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to construct a mega oil city at Gwadar on 80,000 acres under much hyped China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

This mega oil city will be used for transportation of imported oil through the Gwadar Port to China. The oil will be imported from Gulf and will be stored at this proposed mega Gwadar oil city.

The distance to China will be reduced, and it will take just seven days to cover the distance from Gwadar to Chinese border as import through western China took almost 40 days by covering double distance.

“We have forwarded PC-1 to the Ministry of Petroleum for acquiring 80,000 acres for this mega oil city at Gwadar with estimated cost of Rs10 billion. There will be additional cost for construction of its storage and other aligned facilities with the help of investments,” Director General, Gwadar Development Authority (GDA), Dr Sajjad H Baloch, told Islamabad based journalists who visited the Gwadar Port last week. This visit was arranged by the Planning Commission in order to show case different ongoing projects under CPEC.

A refinery, petrochemical industries and storage will be established in the oil city, he added.

The Gwadar oil city, he said, would be used for storing oil for its onward transportation to China. Usually, it takes 40 days for vessels to transport oil to China but via Pakistan it will reach China within 7 days, he added. He said that the total area of Gwadar Model City is 290,000 acres which includes 160,000 acres of residential area while the remaining is for industrial purposes. A Chinese company is working on the Model City Plan and it will be ready by August 14, 2018.

To another query regarding different measures for overcoming water shortages at Gwadar, he said that the current water requirement stood at six million gallons per day and there is no direct water supply taking place to the area. Two MGD water is being supplied from two water small dams through tankers and nearest distance is almost 70 kilometres.

“We have a deficit of four million gallons per day in water supply to the area,” he said and added that by 2020, the water requirement of Gwadar would be 12 million gallons per day, for which additional arrangements were made to get 10 million gallons of water.

New Gwadar International Airport: Earlier, the journalists visited the site of proposed new airport at Gwadar. The China Airport Construction Group Engineering Company representative Jianxin Liao told the visiting journalists that they were conducting soil investigation on the basis of which, the design of new airport at Gwadar will be finalised. He said that the procured land for this new airport stood at 4,300 acres, and this airport will possess capacity to handle one million passengers on annual basis. He said that by April this year the design will be completed after which the cost of the project will be estimated. It will be the biggest airport of Pakistan.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) representative Zohaib Soomro said that the initial cost of the project was estimated at $228 million, but its cost would be finalised after completion of design, and it would be estimated again.

The sources said that it would be premature to give any assessment related to cost, but it would be more than $2 billion to $2.7 billion at least if we want to construct state of the art airport in accordance with international standards.

Riaz Haq said...

India Lacks a Competitive Trade Strategy for Chabahar
India needs a sound economic and political strategy to maximize the benefits it receives from Chabahar.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/01/india-lacks-a-competitive-trade-strategy-for-chabahar/

The first shipment to pass through the port of Chabahar to Afghanistan was celebrated with much fanfare and excitement this late October. India, with the largest economy in South Asia and an ever-rising military footprint has much to be proud of regarding this development. In the face of regional tensions with its western neighbor, Pakistan, India has chosen to circumvent the nation in order to open new trade routes with Afghanistan and greater Central Asia. Delhi may now find it easier to further diversify its trading partners, strengthen its relations with regional neighbors, and simultaneously compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

While the potential for Chabahar’s positive externalities remain numerous, they also remain largely hypothetical. The completion of the project does not necessarily guarantee an increase in Indian economic influence, considering the economic and political realities that Delhi presently faces on the domestic front and in the region. The competitiveness of Indian exports, the security situation in Afghanistan, and regional geopolitics pose several hurdles that India must overcome.

Domestically, India faces a slowing economy that has had six continuous quarters of decreasing growth. The economy rebounded in the latest quarter but growth forecasts for the economy continue to be revised downwards due to recent poorly executed economic reforms (the Goods and Services Tax and demonetization). This becomes further troubling as the Indian economy continues to be faced with a critical job shortage that must incorporate 12 million young people every year. Additionally, India’s banking sector continues to pose risks to the economy with non-performing assets (bad loans) continuing to rise to unprecedented levels. In light of domestic economic challenges, Delhi would be wise to draft a comprehensive economic strategy to justify the cost of the overall investment in Chabahar and the overall multinational initiative.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
Currently, India has allocated around $2 billion to the overall project — $500 million dollars has been allocated to the construction of Chabahar port to increase cargo handling capacity and $1.6 billion to the construction of a rail link that will connect the port to the city of Zahedan. The city borders Afghanistan and will allow goods to flow into the country through already built infrastructure. Chabahar port will also serve as a starting point for the over-arching International North-South Trade Corridor (INTSC) that aims to connect India, Iran, Russia, and various Central Asian states. Remarks by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and various analysts claim that the new port will revolutionize trade and commerce. This may prove to be true if India is able to drastically improve the efficiency of its manufacturing sector and increase the demand for Indian goods.

Yet, the current status quo will prove difficult to change considering both the cost and share of total exports India sends to Central Asia (including Afghanistan) when compared to other nations, specifically China. In early July, the Minister of State for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, Haribhai Chaudhary, was asked why domestically produced goods cost more than those imported from China. Chaudhary responded, “The products manufactured in China are reportedly of lower price mainly because of their opaque subsidy regime and distorted factor prices.” India’s economy is primarily based on the services industry, which composes more than half of its GDP, compared to industry (including manufacturing), which only composes a little more than a quarter. China’s economy on the other hand, is primarily composed of industry, giving it greater leverage and ability to compete with Indian goods.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan, China Jointly Showcase Arabian Sea Gwadar Port

https://www.voanews.com/a/pakistan-china-jointly-showcase-arabian-sea-gwadar-port/4229612.html

Pakistan and China have jointly organized the first international exhibition to showcase the significance of the Arabian Sea Gwadar Port and its economic free zone as an emerging international business hub.

The warm water deep sea commercial port, which overlooks some of the world’s busiest oil and gas shipping lanes, has been built and recently expanded with Chinese financial assistance.

More than 200 companies from both China and Pakistan were present in Monday’s event at Gwadar, while six Chinese provinces also sent their representatives, said Beijing’s ambassador to Islamabad, Yao Jing, while addressing the ceremony.

Foreign diplomats and business leaders were also invited to the opening session of the two-day event.

Chinese operators of the port say the Gwadar Free Zone shall bring extensive economic benefits, like a tax holiday for 23 years and land lease up to 99 years to the upcoming businesses along with other incentives and pro-business policy frame work for general trade, services, manufacturing, logistics, trans-shipment and bunkering business.

Direct benefit for Pakistan

Gwardar port is to be a trans-shipment hub connected to landlocked western Chinese regions, giving Beijing a secure and shorter international trade route through Pakistan.

Gwadar is celebrated as the gateway to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, a flagship of President Xi Jinping’s global Belt and Road Initiative to build a new “Silk Road” of land and maritime trade routes across more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Under CPEC, networks of road, communications, rail, economic zones and power plants are being built and upgraded in Pakistan with an estimated Chinese investment of $62 billion.

Around $27 billion in projects are underway or completed, including “early harvest” energy projects, adding much-needed electricity to Pakistan’s national grid.

“I would like to say that the Chinese government will continue to invest and send our input to further support the development of this project. Also, we will encourage Chinese companies and Chinese businessmen to join the development of Gwadar,” vowed Chinese envoy Jing.

Wider benefit planned

During the ceremony, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said CPEC is the “most visible part” of China’s of BRI, saying the mega project will cater not only to the needs of his country, but to the needs of the region.

Officials expect Gwadar’s cargo handling capacity to increase to 1.2 million tonnes by the end of this year and it will be able to process about 13 million tons by 2022, making it the largest port in South Asia.

Chinese partners say they would need around 38,000 skilled workers by 2023 for the Free Zone, according to Dostain Jamaldini, Chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority. He says of the 2,500 current workers, around 500 are Chinese nationals and the rest are locals.

An international airport with a 12,000 meter runway is being constructed in the once sleepy town with a Chinese financial grant of around $300 million.

The Arabian Sea port is located in Pakistan’s largest province of Baluchistan where militant groups, including Islamic State, and a low-level insurgency remain key security challenges to CPEC.

Additionally, the corridor runs through Pakistan-controlled portion of the divided Kashmir region, drawing objections from rival India. The United States suspects China may also turn Gwadar into a military base.

But Chinese officials reject those concerns, maintaining “CPEC is merely an economic cooperation project,” and Islamabad dismisses New Delhi’s opposition as politically motivated.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Mulls #US, #NATO Offer to Ship #Afghan Supplies Through #Gwadar Port as Shorter, Cheaper Route. #CPEC

https://www.voanews.com/a/pakistan-mulls-natio-offer-to-ship-afghan-supplies-through-gwadar-port/4201473.html

Pakistani officials say the U.S.-led NATO military coalition in Afghanistan has offered to import vital supplies through the southwestern port of Gwadar, calling it a much shorter and economically viable route into landlocked Afghanistan.

The federal minister for maritime affairs, Hasil Bizenjo, says NATO representatives proposed the idea at a recent meeting he convened with local and international business leaders.

“They (NATO) are very interested and we are working on it,” Bizenjo told VOA in an interview.

The coalition of about 16,000 troops, known as Resolute Support, mostly consists of Americans advising and assisting Afghan forces in their battle against the Taliban and other militant groups.

The military mission is dependent on ground lines of communication and air lines of communication, known as GLOC and ALOC, through Pakistan for receiving supplies.

Currently, NATO supplies are shipped through the southern Pakistani port of Karachi, where they then are placed on trucks and transported on a week-long journey to neighboring Afghanistan via the northwestern Torkham border crossing.

“NATO people told us it would be extremely convenient for them in terms of quick transportation of supplies from Gwadar directly to Kandahar. They are very interested and we are working on it,” Bizenjo told VOA in an interview.

The Chinese-built, Arabian Sea port of Gwadar is in the southwestern Baluchistan province adjoining Afghanistan's Kandahar province, which hosts one of the five U.S. military bases in the war-shattered country.

Gwadar port is connected to the Chaman border crossing with Kandahar through a newly constructed highway, enabling truck convoys to reach Afghanistan in fewer than 24 hours.

Pakistani minister Bizenjo said companies dealing in Afghan transit trade also want their cargo to be shipped completely through Gwadar.

“Another meeting with Pakistani business and NATO representatives and Afghan transit trade dealers has also been scheduled to further the discussions, Bizenjo said, without saying when.

Pakistan earned the status of non-NATO ally for allowing U.S.-led international forces to use the GLOC and ALOC supply lines to invade Afghanistan in 2001 and oust the Taliban from power for harboring al-Qaida leaders. In return, Islamabad received U.S. security assistance and civilian aid.

The proposal to redirect U.S. and NATO military cargo from Karachi to Gwadar comes as Pakistan’s traditionally rollercoaster relations with the United States suffer fresh setbacks.

Riaz Haq said...

Connecting Balochistan
FWO was tasked to lay a network of roads for the much needed connectivity of Gwadar Port with upcountry as part of CPEC. The Frontier Corps was tasked to maintain the law and order throughout the vast province, especially along the highways.
FWO is presently constructing 873 km of roads in Balochistan as part of Western Route of CPEC to operationalize Gwadar Deep Sea Port by enhancing its connectivity. The road projects being undertaken are:


https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/balochistan-cpec-and-the-roads-to-development.436810/

Hoshab-Turbat-Gwadar Section (M-8) 193 Km
Khuzdar-Shahdadkot Section (M-8) 58 Km
Sorab-Besima-Nag-Panjgur (N-85) 430 Km
Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Road (N-25) 110 Km
Wagum-Rud-Khajuri Road (N-70) 64 Km

M-8 Motorway
The M-8 Motorway reflects the vision of a progressive Balochistan. It is the first motorway of the province which will connect Gwadar with Indus Highway. The alignment of this road goes along Gwadar, Turbat, Hoshab, Awaran, Khuzdar and Rattodero (near Larkana). Traversing through the vast expanse of interior Balochistan the highway shall usher in a new era of socio-economic development and prosperity. Presently the trade trucks going upcountry have to take the longer route via Karachi which results in increase of logistic costs. With the direct and shorter route of M-8 the distance from Gwadar to Indus Highway will be reduced by nearly 400 km.
The Gwadar, Turbat, Hoshab section of M-8 is a vital part of CPEC’s Western, Central and Eastern Routes and will serve all Gwadar bound traffic. The road has been constructed by FWO in most challenging and hostile terrain and security environment.



N-85 Highway
The N-85 Highway is also known as the Gwadar-Quetta link. It starts from Hoshab and moves northwards towards Quetta passing through Panjgur-Besima and Sorab from where it merges with the Karachi-Quetta Highway (N-25) at Kalat. The 448 km highway passes through the remote towns of interior Balochistan and provides a direct and shorter link between Gwadar and Quetta. Construction of this highway was a big challenge due to harsh terrain and security hazards. FWO has mobilized its resources at 14 locations to complete the project this year. The highway is being regarded as a catalyst for the progress and development of interior Balochistan.


Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Road
The Kalat-Quetta-Chaman road (N-25) serves as an important trade route between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The 230 km long road is divided into four sections of which Section 1 and 3 have been completed while Section 2 i.e., Khad Koocha to Quetta (54 km) and Section 4 i.e., Jungle Piralizai to Chaman (57 km) are being completed by FWO. Also known as RCD Highway this road constitutes the shortest access from Gwadar and Karachi ports to Afghanistan. Substantial progress has been achieved and the project is scheduled to be completed this year.


Despite serious logistic constraints in wake of remoteness of the area and unfavourable security situation, Pak Army is determined to complete this onerous but formidable task within stipulated timeline. The FWO has already completed 648 km of roads out of 873 km, which is a record by any international standard. Completion of these projects by end of 2016 would effectively link Gwadar Deep Sea Port with China through Karakoram Highway (KKH), Afghanistan and Central Asia through Chaman, Central Trade Corridor and Torkham.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s port city gains economic vitality after free zone launched. Will #Gwadar be next #Honkong or #Dubai? #CPEC #China #SEZ http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/pakistans-port-city-gains-economic-vitality-after-free-zone-launched/ …

For decades, Pakistanis have dreamed for Gwadar to become the next Dubai. Yet the port city in southwestern Pakistan, despite its advantageous location on the shores of the Arabian Sea, had long remained underdeveloped in the past.

Recently, the economy of the prominent city in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan seems to gear up, especially with the launching of the Gwadar free trade zone on Jan. 29, reviving hopes for it to become a global trade hub.

Launching of the free trade zone was a historic moment. It is the beginning of a dream coming true, Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistani Minister for Interior and Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, said at the launching ceremony.

RAPID PORT DEVELOPMENT

Less than a year ago, the Gwadar port complex was still a giant construction site. Now it has become a brand new modern harbor boasting giant brand new cranes, hotels, warehouses, factories and a business center.

The unprecedented pace of development convinced locals of the future of Gwadar.

“Gwadar will lead the take-off of Pakistan’s economy. It will be the next Dubai or Hong Kong,” local banker Masood Awan said.

Gwadar Expo, a two-day trade fair, coincided with the opening of the free trade zone. Muhammad Niazi, a seafood exporter, had planned to represent his company at the event, but failed to get a booth as more than 5,000 companies had vied for just 150 vacancies.

More than 25,000 people visited the trade fair, according to China Overseas Ports Holdings Co. (COPHC), which took over the operation of the port in 2013.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had to increase the frequency of its flights from Karachi to Gwadar from one to two per day, while announcing that a new flight from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad to Gwadar will be open by the end of the year.

Even without a booth, Niazi and his colleagues flew to Gwadar from Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi. He stayed after the trade fair closed on Jan. 30, busy making new business contacts.

“We are determined to expand our business to Gwadar. The speed of development is just amazing,” Niazi said.

BETTER CITY LIFE

More than 30 Chinese and Pakistani companies are investing some 500 million U.S. dollars in the free trade zone, said Hu Zongyao, deputy general manager of the Gwadar free trade zone, which is expected to bring thousands of jobs to the fishing city of less than 100,000 population.

Also, COPHC have worked with the local government and Chinese organizations to help improve living conditions in Gwadar, including the installation of desalination facilities to provide a million gallons of drinking water to local residents.

China’s Red Cross Society helped build a medical station, while China Foundation for Peace and Development help set up a primary school there.

“Better living conditions means better investment environment and more talents. Helping the locals is also helping ourselves,” Hu said.

“Investment by experienced and competent Chinese companies is encouraging for the future of Gwadar. The port will one day become a top destination for business and tourism, a regional, even global trade center,” said Dostain Khan Jamaldini, chairman of Gwadar Port Authority.

The construction of the city is a long-haul endeavor. It takes time to build infrastructure, find investment and talents and cultivate economic vitality. Eventually the city will grow as evidenced by many global cosmopolitans that had been fishing villages.


Wade Shepard, a Forbes contributor, believed a “clearly stated plan” is behind CPEC’s progress. China and Pakistan publicized a long-term plan for CPEC in 2017.

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s secret war against #Pakistan. by Praveen Swami #KulbhushanJadhav #Balochistan #RAW #ajitdoval

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/indias-secret-war/article10055129.ece

he implications of the questions raised by the Kulbhushan Jadhav case go far beyond Jadhav’s fate. It is time India reflects seriously on its expanding programme of covert action and its long-term consequences. By PRAVEEN SWAMI
FOR six hours, the hired car had driven through a forest of shadows, cast by the mountains of Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province—for generations, a refuge for smugglers, insurgents and spies. Heading towards Saravan, a town of 50,000 some 20 kilometres from the border with Pakistan, the car was carrying a businessman from Mumbai to a meeting. The men he wanted to meet were waiting, but there were others, too: like every spy story, this one ended in betrayal.

India knows something of what happened next: Kulbhushan Jadhav is now on death row, awaiting execution, after a hurried trial by a military court in Pakistan which found him guilty of espionage.

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

Ever since 2013, India has secretly built up a covert action programme against Pakistan, seeking to retaliate against jehadists and deter their sponsors in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate. Led by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, and now by Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) Anil Dhasmana, the programme has registered unprecedented success, hitting hard against organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Muhammad. But the story of the man on death row illustrates that this secret war is not risk-free. Lapses in tradecraft and judgment, inevitable parts of any human enterprise, can inflict harm far greater than the good they seek to secure.


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the Kulbhushan Jadhav case ought to raise questions about whether India’s intelligence bosses are devoting the kind of granular attention that the issue requires to insulate the country from the potential risks. The questions over Jadhav’s passports, the opacity of his business operations and, most important, the lack of transparency about his connection to the Indian Navy, have all made it difficult for the government of India to dissociate itself from his cause—the usual, necessary fate of the spy. It is also not clear why, if he is indeed a spy, he was not withdrawn after Uzair Baluch’s arrest, an elementary precaution.

Perhaps more importantly, there ought to be a serious political debate cutting across party lines on the possible consequences of covert action.

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Precedents do exist to resolve situations like this. Gary Powers, the pilot of a CIA espionage flight shot down over the Soviet Union in May 1960—and reviled by his colleagues for not committing suicide—was eventually exchanged for the legendary KGB spy Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher.

In both New Delhi and Islamabad, there are rumours the two capitals are working on just such a deal—possibly involving former ISI officer Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Zahir Habib, alleged to have been kidnapped by India—or a wider deal, which could see the release of multiple espionage convicts.

Both countries have much to gain from a dispassionate conversation on the case—on the norms that ought to govern covert activity of the one against the other, and on the inexorable consequences of the secret war Pakistan has long run.

For that, the Kulbhushan Jadhav case needs to be elevated above prime-time ranting and opened up for rational discussion.

Riaz Haq said...

Lijian Zhao 赵立坚‏Verified account
@zlj517
Following Following @zlj517
More
Gwadar update: COSCO will start a container shipping line at Gwadar port on every Wednesday from 7 March 2018. Businessmen who are interested to export or import specially sea food from Gwadar to any destination to China or any destination globally, can take benefit of it.

https://twitter.com/zlj517/status/963323304655269889

Riaz Haq said...

#Balochistan Separatist Leader Jumma Marri Says in #Moscow He Now Supports #Pakistan and Blames #India for Hijacking Struggle: #CPEC #China #Russia #Afghanistan https://sputniknews.com/interviews/201802231061939477-balochistan-korybko-jumma-marri-baloch/ … via @SputnikInt

Dr. Jumma Marri Baloch, a prominent leader of the Baloch independence movement and designer of the separatist flag, recently renounced his decades-long campaign against Pakistan while attending a Pakistani Unity Day event last weekend in Moscow, where Sputnik’s Andrew Korybko had the chance to conduct a brief interview with him.

Sputnik: Tell us little about yourself: how and why did you come to Russia, how long have you been here and what do you do presently?

Jumma Marri Baloch: I think everybody who was interested about the Baloch affairs might know my struggle to free Balochistan, which is not hidden from anyone. I will not be wrong if I say that I am from those people who were always on the forefront of the Baloch freedom struggle — many of the readers might know the fact that the Free Balochistan flag, which is currently very popular and is in use, was designed by me.
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For the sake of Free Balochistan I left my home, Pakistan, province, tribe and even my father and brothers. In 1979, due to the Balochistan movement I, along with my family, left for Afghanistan and settled there. Since 2000 I am in self-exile in Moscow.

--


Sputnik: Who is behind the so-called "Free Balochistan" Campaign, what are they aiming for, and how do they operate?


Jumma Marri Baloch: There are no doubts that India is squarely behind the unrest in Balochistan. I am a witness to it from within: India tries to counter Pakistan's support for Kashmir and India wants to pay Pakistan in the same coin by supporting a few so-called Baloch leaders who are enjoying very luxurious lifestyles in such expensive cities as Geneva and London. These people are sending some money to create unrest in Balochistan like blowing electricity supplies, mining bridges and putting mines in the roadside to keep the money supplies open from Delhi.

---

Sputnik: What is the reason why some international media have been repeating the claims of Baloch separatists and sometimes even lobbying on their behalf, and how does this relate to global fake news industry?


Jumma Marri Baloch: No international media pays any attention to these Baloch separatists except Indian media that are working closely with the Indian intelligence who are paid to cover their paid agents working as Baloch freedom fighters. These are all Indian attempts to silence the voices of the Kashmir struggle for freedom. I guarantee if Pakistan gives even the slightest hint to the Indians that they will stop supporting the Kashmiri, the Hindus will dump the Baloch next day down in a sewage canal.


Sputnik: What is the most effective way to debunk these falsehoods and show people the truth about Balochistan and its native people's relationship to the rest of Pakistan?


Jumma Marri Baloch: Develop the awareness of people about the negative propaganda, through education and empowering the local people to run their affairs without intervention. The Baloch must be respected, first of all, on their own soil, then such negative propaganda will have no effects. The majority of the Baloch people have no problem with Pakistan, but they have questions to the government as every normal citizen of any country around the world.

Riaz Haq said...

#Iran shocks #India. #Iranian FM says he has offered #Pakistan and #China participation in India's #Chabahar project http://toi.in/qUtthZ/a24gk via @timesofindia

NEW DELHI: In what may come as a shock to India, Iran said yesterday it offered Pakistan and China participation in the Chabahar project, a port that is being built by India for the express purpose of bypassing Pakistan.
Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported today that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif yesterday invited Pakistan to participate in Chabahar seaport project + and in the development of its link with the Gwadar Port "as he sought to allay concerns here (in Pakistan) over Indian involvement in the Iranian port."
“We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chabahar,” said Zarif, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, said Dawn.

Chabahar is said to be becoming a success story in the India-Iran relationship. The first phase of the Chabahar port in south-east Iran, which India is developing, was inaugurated in December last year. The port opened a new strategic transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan that bypassed Pakistan. It is expected to cut transport costs/time for Indian goods by a third and likely to ramp up trade among India, Afghanistan and Iran in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi for trade with the two countries.

Given this context, India's not likely to be pleased with the Iranian foreign minister's comments. It's possible though that Zarif was merely making conciliatory remarks. That's because he went out of his way to assure Pakistan that its ties with India are not in conflict with Islamabad

Zarif drew a comparison with Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia and said that just like that relationship does not tarnish Islamabad's ties with Tehran, India's and Iran's relationship isn't going to affect Pakistan negatively, reported Mehr News, an Iranian news agency. He added that the Gwadar port city in Pakistan and Chabahar transit agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan are “complementary” and not “competitive”.

Riaz Haq said...

Chinese giant to build Gwadar’s first luxury Golf Community

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/307352-chinese-giant-to-build-gwadars-first-luxury-golf-community

State-owned Chinese construction company China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has announced that it has entered into agreement for the construction of Gwadar's first luxury gated Golf Community with a Pakistani company.

Empire Properties, the Pakistan registered company, and the CCECC have signed a memorandum of understanding as the prospective contractor for the construction of China Pak Golf Estates, Gwadar's first luxury Golf Community.

The $265 million development is a milestone in the development of Gwadar and will deliver the emerging port city’s most premier residential and lifestyle destination, said a joint press release issued here.

Commenting on the partnership Mr Wang Lei, Managing Director CCECC (Pakistan) said: "It is a great honour to be working alongside a forward thinking international conglomerate like CPIC. China Pak Golf Estates is a ground breaking development for not only Gwadar but Pakistan and we are honoured to be a part of this monumental project and contributing to the growth story of Emerging Pakistan. CCECC are a leading global contractor with 39 years of experience in over 40 countries delivering high quality projects ranging from civil engineering design and consultancy to real estate development. We aim to deliver a timeless community in China Pak Golf Estates that will set a new standard to master community development in Pakistan."

Afzal Shah, CEO or Empire Properties said: "China Pak Golf Estates will truly set a new standard to real estate community development in Pakistan and there isn't a better company we could be working with to deliver this grand vision than CCECC. I would like to extend a warm welcome to Mr Wang Lei and his team as we embark on this virtuous journey together. Our vision extends beyond developing Pakistan's finest communities, we will change the fabric of Pakistan's real estate industry by setting a new benchmark for integrity and transparency in a market that at times can be described as less than open. Our goal is to elevate the market to the same standards as established international markets. This will result in the introduction of institutional investment which in turn will revolutionise the country’s real estate sector and deliver the quality of life Pakistanis deserve".

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan prime minister inaugurates first deep-water container terminal

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1301411/world

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the initial phase of the country’s $1.4 billion first high-tech deep-water container terminal on Friday.
Hutchison Ports Pakistan is a public-private partnership of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Hong Kong-based Hutchison Ports Holdings. The terminal is one of the most advanced in the region, having broken its own productivity record four times and serviced some of the largest container ships in the world since test operations began on December 9, 2016. Its high performance is expected to raise Pakistan’s global trade competitiveness and set a strong foundation for further economic growth.
“The state-of-the-art new container terminal at KPT will be a key component to become part of the overall CPEC system, assisting and facilitating CPEC development in Pakistan, which the government of both Pakistan and China are pursuing so vigorously,” Abbasi said. “The CPEC is the initiative of BRI, which is the project of not only regional but global connectivity.”
As the incumbent government of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) is about to complete its five-year tenure, the prime minister highlighted the achievements of his government, claiming that it had undertaken major development projects that had not been done in the past 65 years.
“Turning the economy around, overcoming the energy crisis, combating extremism and terrorism and huge investment in human development sectors have remained our key priorities since the very first day of our government,” Abbasi said. “Our economic rebound is particularly remarkable because we achieved it while aggressively fighting terrorism throughout Pakistan, for which we had to allocate resources to our law enforcement agencies.”
He said that many projects in the energy sector were in the pipeline, including four LNG terminals, four power plants of 600 MW and a desalination plant of more than 50 million gallons. “I am confident that the new government after the elections will be more than willing to play its part to make it a success story,” Abbasi said.
Andy Tsoi, managing director of Hutchison Ports, Middle East Africa, said the port was being operated at international standards and applied the highest level of expertise to port operations. “The project is a glowing example of public-private partnership and the Pak- China friendship that will augment the economic environment of Pakistan while revitalizing the ports and shipping industry and strengthen the relationship between both countries,” Tsoi said.
Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, minister for maritime affairs, said that 97 percent of Pakistan’s international trade was handled through seaports and the ministry was committed to integrating the country’s ports. “Hutchison Port Pakistan project is an example of the successes of a public-private partnership in which KPT has invested around $800 million and Hutchison Port Holdings will be investing over $600 million,” Bizenjo said.
He announced the start of cruise line services from Karachi port to Chahbahar port via Gwadar port, connecting Oman and Dubai as well. “The Pakistan National Shipping Corporation has completed formalities and is in the process of buying three vessels. Soon foreign and local vessels will be registered in Pakistan like in Panama,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Folds Under #Trump's Pressure, Halts #Iranian #Oil Imports | India’s oil ministry has asked refiners to prepare for a ‘drastic reduction or zero’ imports of Iranian oil from November 2018 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/India-Folds-Under-Pressure-Halts-Iranian-Oil-Imports.html?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=tw_repost … #oilprice

In more dour news for Iran, India (the world’s fourth largest oil importer) is planning to cut oil imports from the embattled OPEC member. India’s oil ministry has asked refiners to prepare for a ‘drastic reduction or zero’ imports of Iranian oil from November, Reuters said on Thursday, citing two industry sources.

The news comes as Tehran remains defiant over impending U.S. sanctions renewal and just days after India indicated it would push back against pressure from Washington to halt Iranian oil imports, stating that it did not recognize sanctions the U.S. has threatened to impose on countries that continue to buy Iranian oil after November 4.

"India does not recognize unilateral sanctions, but only sanctions by the United Nations," Sunjay Sudhir, joint secretary for international cooperation at India's petroleum ministry, told CNN earlier when asked whether India would reduce oil imports from Iran. After China, India is the largest buyer of Iranian crude oil.

President Trump said on Tuesday that the U.S. would level sanctions on countries that not did not cut Iranian oil imports.

Though India made an initial defiant stand, it simply can’t afford to alienate Washington since it has to safeguard its exposure to the U.S. financial system, a powerful tool that the U.S. can wield as it pleases since the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. This allows Washington to level crippling sanctions on a wide range of countries all the way from Russia to Venezuela to Iran and anybody else that any sitting U.S. president sees fit to punish.

This economic weapon is also why Beijing is working feverishly to supplement or replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. In September, John Hardy, the head of FX strategy at Saxo Bank said China was “eyeing the benefits of having its own currency play a larger role and to supplant the USD's role in global trade. The initial focus is on the global oil trade, where it has announced the intention of buying oil in yuan and allowing trade partners to settle that yuan in gold." He added that settling in gold is a clever move by Beijing as it provides oil-exporting countries with a greater degree of comfort.

Riaz Haq said...

Slow Internet Hurting China's Silk Road Ambitions in Pakistan
Faseeh MangiJuly 12, 2018, 4:00 PM EDT
Gwadar port seeks to pip Iran’s Chabahar for Afghan business

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2018-07-12/slow-internet-hurting-china-s-silk-road-ambitions-in-pakistan?__twitter_impression=true


A port in Pakistan’s Gwadar is a linchpin in China’s plan to revive the old Silk Road linking Asia to Europe and Africa, but a slow Internet line is causing it to lose business.

The customs authority’s failure to fully address issues with Internet speed and reliability has meant the port, operated by a Chinese state-owned company, is functioning at less than capacity, Dostain Khan Jamaldini, chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority, said in an interview.


“About four cargoes of sea food go daily from here to Karachi,” Jamaldini said, referring to the jetty next to the port where customs clearance is done manually. “We are not proactive, we are reactive. It’s a systematic flaw.”

The deep-sea port in Pakistan represents a geopolitical tension point with neighboring arch-rival India, which is financing an Iranian port about 76 nautical miles away. India sent its first wheat consignment to Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port in October.

Bandwidth Issues
The customs authority’s online system is riddled by delays due to a slow internet connection and an alternative wireless system installed by the Chinese too is facing bandwidth problems, according to Jamaldini.

Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue Member Customs, Muhammad Zahid, wasn’t available for comment. Jamaldini feels time is of essence, as Gwadar is better positioned geographically and economically for trade with Afghanistan .

“Chabahar port does not have that potential, the route is longer and more expensive,” he said, adding “state policy can force traders temporarily but not forever, they will work where they make more money.”

What used to be a small fishing town on the southwestern corner of Pakistan is giving way for construction of roads and buildings to house banks, insurance and clearing agents. China Overseas Port Holdings, the port’s operator, has separately spent $250 million to add five new cranes, construct a building in less than six months by importing ready made parts and create space for a free zone.

Read more: China’s Big Political Gambit Hinges on a Remote Arabian Sea Port

Five manufacturers have signed agreements to build factories at the economic free zone, including for electric motorcycles, edible oil and a fish processing plant, said Jamaldini.

China is making a big bet on Pakistan and Beijing’s financing has brought power plants and infrastructure projects valued at about $60 billion. The nation’s economic growth rose to the highest in more than a decade and power blackouts have been curbed, helping trigger a wave of expansion in cement and steel companies.

However, the increased imports has also lead to Pakistan’s current financial deterioration, with a current-account deficit that has increased by 45 percent to $16 billion in eleven months ended May. There are also concerns over the viability of the port itself.

Gwadar “can potentially serve a role to provide additional port capacity for Pakistan itself, for Afghanistan, as a complement and trans-shipment hub for Chabahar, as a location for the Chinese to ship materials and so on,” said Andrew Small, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and an author of a book on China-Pakistan relations. It “isn’t really envisaged as the beginning or end of a transit route for China.”