The largely-static cranes at Gwadar port may start functioning again as the impasse on port operations is expected to be resolved very soon.
Pakistan and Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) are negotiating to end their $750 million agreement to operate the deep sea port at Gwadar and sources say a final deal is expected shortly.
Former dictator Pervez Musharraf had handed over Gwadar operations to the PSA, a global port operator, under a concession agreement for 40 years.
The move annoyed Chinese leadership who thought of Gwadar as the gateway for their products to international markets.
Stalemate after stay order
The deal between the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), on behalf of the government of Pakistan, and the Singapore giant ran into trouble mainly because of two reasons.
Firstly, the security situation in Balochistan hindered the PSA from investing the money it had promised in the agreement for the development of the port and off-shore infrastructure.
Secondly, the Supreme Court had issued a stay order against the allotment of Gwadar land to a foreign company, back in December 2010, on petitions filed by some individuals, including the Balochistan governor.
Officials privy to the negotiations told The Express Tribune that the PSA was frustrated over the delay on the issue by the Supreme Court and had finally decided to give it up.
The apex court is yet to issue a verdict on the matter, despite the stay order being in place for more than a year and a half.
An official at GPA said the negotiations to scrap the deal have been going on for some time now but the announcement of the final outcome hinges on the decision by the Supreme Court.
Handing over to Beijing
A source close to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership said the future of Gwadar was on the agenda when President Asif Ali Zardari travelled to China recently and held bilateral meetings with top leaders in Beijing on the sidelines of a regional summit.
Chinese leaders, according to the source, had always been keen to take control of the port they built for their own interests.
Another source, who was part of a meeting to prepare the agenda for President Zardari’s visit to Beijing, said Islamabad was ready to hand over Gwadar to a Chinese company once the deal with PSA is scrapped.
A top official at the Ministry of Ports and Shipping said that Islamabad could not have ended the deal unilaterally because the agreement Musharraf signed with PSA was ‘heavily biased’ in favour of the Singapore giant.
PSA would have dragged Pakistan into international litigation and there might have been severe penalties for scrapping the deal, he said on condition of anonymity.
“That is why we were waiting for closing it with the mutual consent of both parties,” the official added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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I am happy. We were never going to use Gawadar port for anything valuable or anything that would help our economy. Handing it over to Chinese was a wise decision, atleast they would use it at their best all we might get a penny or a dime in return.
@khan: ...!!so jealous you people while siting abroad.
That's a good news. Now China will operate this port. This is in best interest of Pakistan. Geographic importance of this port can make it Hong Kong of South Asia in near future. My Indian fellow commenters are getting jealous of Pak-China cooperation. Blacky Indians don't get desperate. We love China...Live long Pak-China friendship!
The Chinese need Gwadar Port to Import Oil from the Gulf, Red Sea and Wet Africa etc., in which case the Ships will discharge their Oil Cargo in Gwadar and this Oil will be transported either by Rail or by Pipe Line to Xinjiang for onward dispatch to the Southern and Eastern Chinese Seaboard. . This is required by the Chinese so that they can avoid US Navy Blockages of the Malacca Straits. . In addition to the Pipe Line from Gwadar to China the Chinese are also building an Oil as well as a Natural Gas Pipe Line from the Port of Kyaukpyu to Kunming in China. . This port will also be used to avoid US Navy Blockages in the Malacca Straits. . Cheers
I doubt the Chinese want anything to do with Gwadar port. Gwadar port is a total failure. No ships dock there and it is a complete waste of money.
The craze over the Gwadar port is an example of mass hysteria. Not only has the government wasted a lot of public money building the port but they also sucked in private investors who bought up land around the port thinking it was going to make them rich.
@vikas What if Chinkis decided to teach a lesson to India just like 60s.? What if they ask to india to return their sheeps.
First you give Kashmiri land to the Chinese, now you want to give them ports in the south. Pakistan will pay a heavy price for trusting China some day.
@ Faraz...what else you think your strategic assets were doing in India for so long...its only recently that India returned the favor and see the mess you guys are in....you fell in the same grave you dug up for India....
Deal with PSA must have been under the US pressure, dont think Singapore will do anything against American itnerests and in this case a deal with PSA was in American interest
@Vikas: I guess Pakistan should start supporting liberation armies in Indian troubled states as well.
I would advise you to first read the complete news item and then comment. You will understand my comment.
India needs to wait and wait. Let Pakistan pay heavy fine to Singapore. Then let Chinese come and invest some money. Then India should support Balochistan Liberation Army to teach Chinkis a lesson so that they leave Balochistan and run away.
@Sane Voice: Why is this a SC issue? Does the government have nothing more to do than introducing treasonous or contemptuous laws in the parliament and then fight to save corruption rather than end it?
@Prometheus: 100% correct. Countries protect their interests jealously where as in Pakistan, things are run on personal relationship. More than that is the never satisfied greed of our rulers and bureaucracy, which is ready to sell our strategic assets for personal comforts and personal gains. People of Pakistan should realise that there is no country better than your own. No one is going to accept 200 million people. Love your country. Respect your people and protect your resources . Pakistan Zindabad.
Hope USA will support Baloch resistance to counter the Chinese aggression towards occupied Balochistan.
Although we have soft corner for China and S. Arabia as our friends relative to America but reality is they are our friends for their own benefits and exploitations from Pakistan. We should try to be independent in terms of our thinking and policy no matter how close they are....
This is a prime example showing why a short sighted dictator should not be in power to damage a nation's long term interests. The Chinese built the port and have a strategic alliance with Pakistan so why would Musharraf gift away the Gwader Port against Pakistan's interests? It's a shame that so much time and development have been lost because of his poor decisions. When you think about the lost transit fees for allowing NATO supplies and the poor way the Gwader Port was handled, I can only hope that Pakistan stays away from dictatorships.
China has an expanshionist modus operandi as a niche of their style of governance. Hong Kong and Taiwan are a living examples of this strategy. We somehow or the other seem to romanticize the "Pak China Friendship" phiosophy almost to tan extent of infinity! People often fear US invasion of Pakistan BUT perhaps Pakistan has already been invaded by China interms of economic devastation to our once small industries and most recently telecom and many other sectors. Handingover of Gawader Port will encircle this strangle hold from Kara Koram Highway to Gawader and once this hold starts becoming tight only yhen shall we find out what "Deeper than the sea and higher than the Mountains Friendship" means. They are all over the place in Pakistan especially in Islamabad and last but not the least, the fear is their Communist/Socialist approach which Pakistanis are not at all used to!
Pakistan and especially supreme court is driving away all investors. First it was rekodik now this.
This current mess was all because of Shaukat Aziz who was head of Citibank Singapore for a period and more loyal to his Singapore masters.
It is a shame to the entire nation, on how our national interest is compromised. PSA is a respectable company and have decent record. But we have sold this country to the chinese and americans. Our President, PM and Cheif makes more visits to beijing every year than any other world leadership, which is disgusting. The chinese today controls our dams, electricity, telecom, ports, transport, railways, automobiles, health, mining, defense and space. It seems we cannot make independent decisions without the blessing of beijing. Looks like this country is another colony sold out to beijing. Gwadar incident on how the chinese forced the singapore company out is shameful and utter disrespectful.
Supreme Court has other much more important issues on hand to deal on priority basis, than to see these petty issues.
Put a "Bullet train from Gwardar to China" into that new deal.