Taking charge: China poised to get control of Gwadar Port in a month

Published: July 2, 2013

The port will be the property of the government of Pakistan whereas China will be the operator on a profit-sharing basis. CREATIVE COMMONS

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan and China are set to sign an operational agreement for handing over control of Gwadar Port to the latter within a month, which may deal a big blow to the United States and India who fiercely oppose Chinese presence in the region.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will take up this issue during his upcoming visit to Beijing and the two sides will sign a final agreement following negotiations on a profit-sharing formula.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Federal Ports and Shipping Minister Kamran Michael said a draft agreement was being finalised about the functions of Gwadar Port and the issue would come up for discussion with Chinese authorities during the premier’s trip starting from July 4.

“The previous government signed a memorandum of understanding with China in 2012, however, final agreement is yet to be reached,” he said.

The port will be the property of the government of Pakistan whereas China will be the operator on a profit-sharing basis.

Earlier, Pakistan had handed over control of Gwadar Port to Singapore Port Authority which later sold its rights to a Chinese company.

According to Michael, China will make investments to make the port functional and turn Pakistan into a regional trade hub. China will invest in construction of berths to handle cargo ships.

“We have to finalise terms and conditions and I along with my team will head to Beijing to negotiate the agreement,” he said, adding the port operator would be the shareholder in the port.

He also welcomed any investment from neighbouring countries including Iran and Russia in Gwadar Port. Road infrastructure for the port will also be constructed and it will be linked with China through a railway link.

Stressing that the PML-N government wants ‘trade not aid’, Michael expressed the hope that if the port started operating it would not only attract investment, but also enhance trade with neighbouring countries.

An official alleged that the previous government invested billions of rupees in dredging work at the port, but it turned out to be a mega scandal as investment was shown on papers only and even ships could not arrive at the port.

Recently, a Chinese ship also could not reach the port because of heavy silt in the sea. The official expects the new government to take action soon and expose the people involved in the alleged scandal.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • Babloo
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:52AM

    Pakistan saved once again by the Chinese.
    Now only if China will take control of all of Pakistan and run it, the ummah would be saved.

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:59AM

    People’s Republic of China is all times trusted friend of Pakistan.

    After formally handing over the Gawadar Port to People’s Republic of China, it will become the prime responsibility of People’s Republic of China to protect Gawadar Port from the enemies of Pakistan, in addition to the basic responsibility of Pakistan’s armed forces.

    I can see a bright future is waiting for Pakistan.

    Keep your fingers cross and wait for the moment.

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  • Naseer
    Jul 2, 2013 - 1:38AM

    All the best to China and Pakistan! May this port bring some prosperity to Pakistan.

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  • Hella
    Jul 2, 2013 - 1:42AM

    Waiting for China to takeover entire Pakistan. Fingers crossed. Probably only way to save Pakistani lives.

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  • Rahul
    Jul 2, 2013 - 2:14AM

    Pakistan is only happy when it being used by a superpower as a pawn. What did Pak get for it’s 60 years of servitude to the Americans? If it thinks the outcome will be any different with China, it has learnt nothing.

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  • Ali (Texas)
    Jul 2, 2013 - 2:18AM

    Best news of the century !
    hope Pakistan benefits from this and country’s economy grows !
    Inshallah !

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  • Umer
    Jul 2, 2013 - 3:00AM

    Punjabi party will give Gawadar to foreigners but not to Baluchis. Has anyone asked Baluchis if they are willing to let go of their property? How would Punjabis feel if Baluchis gave Lahore to China? Would the Punjabis accept?

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  • ModiFied
    Jul 2, 2013 - 3:05AM

    Reminds me of Mughal period when Surat port was handed over to British. Rest was history. Pakistanis will regret this day. Chinese may not allow ordinary Pakistanis even to enter the port city in the name of security. For all practical purpose this will cease to be a Pakistani city.

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  • Yes
    Jul 2, 2013 - 4:00AM

    Pakistan needs China just as China needs Pakistan. This is a mutual beneficial relationship between the two countries. The two countries have more in common than they realize and should work together.

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  • Char Latan
    Jul 2, 2013 - 4:00AM

    Ports need porters.

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  • TightPatloon
    Jul 2, 2013 - 4:13AM

    Why rename Gwadar to Gwadong now? And also make mandarin the national language of Balochistan

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  • Haris Chaudhry
    Jul 2, 2013 - 4:23AM

    Gwadar Port – “Made in China” !

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  • Jul 2, 2013 - 4:44AM

    Worst day in the history of Pakistan. How come in this subcontinent and specially the Muslims forget that during the golden days of Muslim rule the whites ( firangis) came begging for trade establishments. They slowly took over the management of Madras, Bombay, Calcutta. And we all know the results, the misery, the suffering and finally the loss of the total subcontinent to them. Times may have changed but the lessons learnt should never be forgotten.I wonder how can we see this a happy day. How can we rejoice our own incompetence of managing our own affairs and handing our land to others to manage. Please let all of us stop and think that where are we going.

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  • Muneeb
    Jul 2, 2013 - 5:00AM

    Rahul, better tell that to your countrymen who are in servitude of USA now, after the nuclear deal India has entered with USA. You Indians can’t stand Pakistan-China strategic partnership(not economic) because it threatens your hegemonic designs. PS. the string of pearl is becoming more like a strangulating rope around your necks, nai?

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  • Muneeb
    Jul 2, 2013 - 5:02AM

    Cynics condemning this move should be ashamed of their unwarranted criticism. Where was your skepticism when PP govt. was plundering national wealth and its ministries didn’t move a muscle for giving the people any semblance of governance?

    Pakistanis will always be a nation of ungrateful cynics. Learn to appreciate something you narrow minded people.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 2, 2013 - 5:08AM

    Did Pakistan really think that Chinese built the port for Pakistan’s benefit ?
    Think again ! China does not do anything without motive or objectives, one only has to look at Chinese operations in Africa to realise the facts.
    So after 60 years of Nation making, its obvious that not many lessons are learnt.

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  • Rao
    Jul 2, 2013 - 6:46AM

    Remember China has lifted hundreds of millions of its citizens from poverty and hunger in 3 decades or so and has risen to super power status. Why not learn a lesson or two from them Chinese? Pakistan is very very lucky and on the right side of history for the betterment of life for all Pakistanis. Now Pakistanis can also expect to reduce their military expenditure as they the Chinese are most likely to pick up the tab and kick the US out of he country. So no more drones at last.

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  • someone
    Jul 2, 2013 - 7:03AM

    @Muneeb:
    Wow..i don’t know what gave you an impression of India being in servitude of US. Despite US pressure India still buying oil from Iran. India and US are fighting each other in WTO. Despite pressure from US , India did test fire Agni V. So of course your argument is in vain.On the other hand the champion of Islam, Pakistan, does not dare to utter a single word of protest when Muslims in Uighur are killed by Han Chinese army. Despite drones killing Pakistanis in tribal areas, not a single drone was shot by brave Pakistan air force. The Pakistan is still the same, only the masters are changed.

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  • Umer
    Jul 2, 2013 - 7:29AM

    If giving away the country is the answer then why did we get the independence in the first place? Isn’t this the admission that we have failed?

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  • nadirkhan
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:08AM

    China has all ways been a better mentor &good partner in times of need & the future is with the east not the west . we have to have a benovelent ,trading partner &a reliable partner not a bully to rescue us in times of dire need ,but we must follow the work model of these super powers to become viable, in all the necessary feilds to become a true nation not a bunch of people with petty ,personals agenda

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  • Umer
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:40AM

    @Rao:

    Remember China has lifted hundreds of millions of its citizens from poverty and hunger in 3 decades or so and has risen to super power status. Why not learn a lesson or two from them Chinese?

    China did not achieve it by giving parts of it to other countries. So let’s learn the correct lesson shall we?

    Recommend

  • KH
    Jul 2, 2013 - 9:03AM

    Weard when the operations were handed over to Singapore nobody complained, are they Pakistani.

    Gawadar is important for China to develop Xhinhang, since its closer to it compared to Shangai, and that is why Pakistan will benefit from it as well.

    Recommend

  • Umer
    Jul 2, 2013 - 9:06AM

    @nadirkhan:

    China has all ways been a better mentor &good partner in times of need

    Really, when? US gave as F-16s while China gave us the junk we proudly like to call JF-17 which no one in the world including China likes to touch with a ten foot pole. In both earthquake and floods US came with full support including Chinook helicopters while China stayed at sideline. China is taking us for a ride but we are too dumb to understand it.

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  • Truth_Prevails
    Jul 2, 2013 - 9:26AM

    @Rahul: Its clearly evident what’s stinging the Indians. “Friendship” with the Americans will continue and so will it for the Chinese. Post 2014 will have lots of different news for Pakistan & India as well and stay cool, the news will be good for everyone.

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Jul 2, 2013 - 10:09AM

    Chao India and US and your dreams of controlling and ruling over the South East Asia region has been reached near to be ended……
    We are proud of Pakistan-China comradeship……
    Pakistan-China comradeship always long live……

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  • Polpot
    Jul 2, 2013 - 10:22AM

    New Measures of Friendship
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    Higher than Tobet and deeper than the gwadar Port:)

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  • Polpot
    Jul 2, 2013 - 10:42AM

    @Polpot: “Higher than Tibet and deeper than the gwadar Port”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I would like to withdraw that. Just read about the mega scandal re the Dredging of the port.

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  • Ahsan Baloch
    Jul 2, 2013 - 10:52AM

    @Umer:
    its not a goat or cattle..we are talking about a port

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  • junaid ahmed khan
    Jul 2, 2013 - 11:06AM

    @Umer: Do you know Balochis gave Gwadar to Oman ? Pakistanis bought this back with Dollars, thanks to Karim Aga Khan, who gave millions dollar for this, then you consider Gwadar as baloch property !

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  • Jul 2, 2013 - 11:23AM

    “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will take up this issue during his upcoming visit to Beijing and the two sides will sign a final agreement following negotiations on a profit-sharing formula”

    I am hearing this for the 1st time.I think all those negotiations on any agreement that need to be signed between the 2 countries may be on pricing ,material etc had to have get completed much earlier by respective countries negotiation representatives and if agreed the final draft agreement was prepared by 2 parties before the head of their respective states meets where they are required to only give their assent to those agreements only by signing those ready made draft agreements and where there is no place for any further negotiation on that particular agreement or altering any clause of that particular agreements but in pakistans case it says the 2 sides will negotiate profit sharing formula (an issue involved money) there only and sign agreement there only.This kind of agreements never happens anywhere in the world.

    Does pakistan have not discussed profit sharing formula earlier if yes the why negotiate just sign the agreement but if no then i am sure this agreement is not going to happen at least at ths china visit of nawaz sarif.Recommend

  • Np
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:12PM

    @Polpot:
    I would like to offer a minor correction”Higher than Gilgit and deeper than Gwadar”

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  • Umer
    Jul 2, 2013 - 3:29PM

    @Ahsan Baloch:

    its not a goat or cattle..we are talking about a port

    Then give Lahore and Raiwand to Chinese. Both these areas can do with a lot of improvement.

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  • M.A. Qureshi
    Jul 2, 2013 - 4:49PM

    Friendship between two countries are based on mutual benefits and national interests. There is no blind friend in this world. We should be very much careful while giving to China such an important and strategic port. Rather Pakistan should itself run this port. In international politics todays friends can be future enemidies and todays enemies cn become friends, so we must be more cautious and prodential without falling into passions which is the trademark of we Pakistanis.

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  • ahmed
    Jul 2, 2013 - 5:17PM

    @Umer please try to make sense in your statements, i am amazing why you were silent when it was given to singapore. don’t criticize for the sake of criticism.

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  • Sharif
    Jul 2, 2013 - 7:03PM

    Is any pakistani are allowed inside gwadar or have to take permission from china?

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  • zafar
    Jul 2, 2013 - 7:44PM

    It should be seen as a pure economic venture. It’s a win-win situation for both Pakistan and China. Other agreements in the past have been beneficial for both countries. We must not lend ears to propaganda from the east and uncle sam, developement of this port is definetley going to harm their interests. Pakistan should pursue regional trade with countries around. Trade relations with India are not viable at the moment, because of unlying polotical issues.

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  • unbelievable
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:02PM

    Pakistan and China are set to sign an operational agreement for handing over control of Gwadar Port to the latter within a month, which may deal a big blow to the United States and India who fiercely oppose Chinese presence in the region.
    .
    Rubbish – attention grabbing title which has little substance in reality. There is nothing in the article which support that USA or India opposes the port development by China or anyone else.

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  • CommonSense
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:37PM

    It’s quite obvious that China is building it for its benefits as every other country . Chinese are quite practical people . But Pak should understand that Chinese like to work in their way , they don’t like others to intervene which differentiates Chinese from Others , particularly western counterparts . Chinese companies pack Chinese labors from China while going abroad . So Pakistan gov should bargain with Chinese to get the favor . Even some chinese chinese companies don’t allow other nationals to enter their companies .

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  • Jul 3, 2013 - 11:36PM

    Pakistan can’t do anything without the involvement of China. Its not friendship but mere business! China needs it more than anyone in the world so it can control the trade route.. However, it has some demerits but Pakistan need to put on it..

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  • Brig (Retd) Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq
    Jul 4, 2013 - 4:37PM

    Every nation has her own priorities, which change with time. In the late eighteenth century Mir Naseer Khan the First of Qallat, handed over Gawader to Sultan Abu Saeed of Oman who was then on exile. The condition was to return to the Mir of Kallat when ABu Saeed decides to leve the territory. Oman occupied it (Gawader) and Pakistan has to buy it back from Oman in 1958. A huge sum of money was paid in exchange. Now Gawader port is being handed over to Chinese authorities for operational purposes. Previously, the task was given to Singaporean authorities. Pakistanis feel that Chinese will run it better and it will bring propsperity to the area. Peace comes with economical development and ,link with outside world. Gawader now belongs to Balochistan and a sepcial emphasis will be laid upon the agreement and acceptance by the provincial and local authorities. It will reduce pressure on Karachi seaport and the far flung areas of teh country will be linked.

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  • M.A. Qureshi
    Jul 5, 2013 - 6:28PM

    @ Brig Tariq sb

    Any pakistani can hardly oppose Gawadar Port, but I feel concerned for giving it to a big power like China. If anytime international situation is changed and we will need China to quit it will be most difficult to fight this giant communist country. Moreover, our important neighbouring country India, super power USA and other European countries will not be happy with us. Most of our textile exports which makes about 60% of our total exports are made to USA and European countries. Millions of Pakistanis are working there and remitting billions of dollars to pakistan. So our economical interests will be at stake. We do not export and earn from China rather China is earning from Pakistan. Keep in mind China has closed relations with Iran who has not good relations with the Saudi Arabia and other middle east countries. Therefore, we should not be fall into passions and ponder well before taking such a crucial decision of our national interest.

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  • hedgefunder
    Jul 5, 2013 - 8:01PM

    @M.A. Qureshi:
    You are so right in your concerns and perceptions as to China.
    What I really don’t understand is the very fact that, what has Chinese actually done for Pakistan ? I really can not see any positives over past couple of decades and yet every GOP of Pakistan bend over backwards to appease them !
    It really does not make sense, one only has to take stock as to the facts and figures of Trade, Loans, Aid ETC… the answer is there and Pakistan can not see it for what it is !
    The Chinese will only act in their own self interest and nothing more, time Pakistan start acknowledging the fact as they are.
    They are no one friends ! Where were they during the floods, and how much aid did they offer ?

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  • Jul 7, 2013 - 5:21PM

    @Brig (Retd) Waheed Uz Zaman Tariq: Dear Brigadier Saheb, No wonder you have confused the issue with irrelevant history. The fact is that today it is the land of Pakistan. Another fact is that you can not rejoice or be happy over your incompetence of managing your own land. Lastly Sir, in your burning desire to spite India you are cutting your own nose.

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  • Umer
    Aug 27, 2013 - 10:42AM

    We are very surprise to know that gawadar port is bought back by Aga Khan in 1958 from Oman , paid them 2 billion dollars. Thanks to him becuase nowadays we are in position that we are in a very important stretegic position in this region.

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