Prioritising Gwadar development

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WHILE government attention is focused on development projects in different sectors including energy and communication infrastructure, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Gwadar Port Wednesday to see for himself the progress on expansion and improvement of Gwadar Port, which is the centre of all activities under the CPEC. After getting a detailed briefing, he directed to complete all development projects at the earliest and assured that the government will allocate ample amount in upcoming budget for this purpose.
The port holds great strategic and economic significance for Pakistan. Located at cross junction of international sea shipping and oil trade routes, Gwadar can act as an international trade hub for Pakistan as it would connect Central Asia, South Asia and Middle East. Work is going on speedily since the port was handed over to China Overseas Holding Company (COPHC) in 2013. Along with the Gwadar port, the building up of Gwadar city, Gwadar power generation plants and International Airport are the projects of utmost importance to fully reap the benefits of CPEC. Although the port has started shipment, seasonal cargo and commercial trade yet what is needed is to make it fully operational at the targeted date. It was encouraging to hear from the Prime Minister that fifty two countries wanted to join the CPEC and it is beyond expectations of our neighbour India, which is still opposed to the project as it wants to contain Pakistan and China fearing that the port would make Pakistan a hub of trade activities while China will get a shorter route for its international trade. It is therefore necessary to make development of Gwadar port single most priority of the government for the benefit of not only Pakistan and China but for regional countries that have shown their interest in CPEC.