GWADAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday officially inaugurated the Gwadar port – an important project under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – at a magnificent ceremony that opened trade activities at the port.
The port is now officially operational for trade activities through CPEC’s western route. “CPEC is not for a single province but for the entire country and a foe of CPEC is an enemy of Pakistan,” the PM said while addressing the inauguration ceremony.
The PM – during his full-day visit to Gwadar – is set to address a ceremony on the launch of the first mega pilot trade cargo. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif are some names accompanying the PM.
Strict security was provided to the first trade convoy that reached Gwadar from China by Pakistan Army and other security agencies as the convoy gets ready to be shipped to its next export destination.
The Prime Minister House, in a statement on Saturday, said, “This is the beginning of a process that has been on-hold for years. But now this journey will continue for a long time. We are crossing new milestone into a new era of international relations.”
This trade cargo shipment from Gwadar to the international market is a sign of a changed Pakistan. Every part of Pakistan is going to benefit from the CPEC, which is a broad project of peace and economic progress. Not just Pakistan and China but, Iran, Afghanistan and a lot of Central Asian states would benefit of the project.
CPEC will help to promote peace, resources and harmony in the region in addition to enhancing communication network, supply, trade and cultural links. Land for Gwadar ‘Free Trade Zone’ has already been allocated by the government and concessions for Gwadar Port and Free Trade Zone in Balochistan have been announced.
A project for development of Gwadar city is being executed with an estimated cost if Rs 25 billion. The federal government authorized the provincial government for designing the project considering Gwadar’s basic needs. The provincial government is using the resources provided by the federal government to develop the area.
To produce manpower required, a university and a vocational training institute are being set up in Gwadar. A new international airport is also under construction in Gwadar to facilitate the investors.