Noon Meenar at Gwadar


Col Riaz Jafri (Retd)

It was during the period of Prime Minister Malik Feroze Khan Noon that Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman for US $3m – a huge amount from the reckoning then and Gwadar formally became part of Pakistan on Dec 08, 1958 – ironically the day Martial Law was imposed – after 174 years of Omani rule. It took PM Noon more than six months of hard negotiations – assisted by UK – to clasp the deal, much to the dismay of Nehru who had his eyes on Gwadar for its far reaching strategic value. Now that the port has been formally opened, the first cargo load shipped out and the massive economic potential along with its immensely strategic importance for Pakistan is well established, it was time that in recognition of the enormous favour done to Pakistan by it great benefactor late Malik Feroze Khan Noon we paid him a tribute by erecting some monument at Gwadar. I think a befittingly tall Light House tower with very strong rotating light beams beaconing the incoming ships from miles be erected at the port and named “Noon Meenar” to commemorate his name for ever.