Senate panel told: China to build new Gwadar international airport

Published: June 13, 2014
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Beijing will either construct airport on BOT basis or provide concessionary loan. PHOTO: FILE

Beijing will either construct airport on BOT basis or provide concessionary loan. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Amid noisy protests by opposition legislators over the decision to change the route of the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor for a second consecutive day, a top government official revealed on Thursday that China has taken the responsibility to construct the New Gwadar International Airport.

“The government has changed the implementation mode of the New Gwadar International Airport and the project will be completed outside the scope of the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP),” said Hasan Nawaz Tarar, the federal secretary for the Ministry of Planning and Development.

He was speaking at a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, which has been debating budgetary proposals for the last four days. Tarar was responding to a proposal of Senator Sardar Fateh Mohammad Hasani on allocating more funds for the early completion of the project.

After taking over Gwadar port, China’s decision to construct the New Gwadar International Airport highlights its plan to make the port-city a hub to watch its commercial and strategic interests in the region. The government has already transferred Gwadar Port operations from the Port of Singapore to the Chinese company, Overseas Port Holdings Limited.

Senator Talha Mahmood said that China was eyeing at Afghanistan and Central Asia, once the US leaves the region. Under the same plan, China is also financing Pak-China Economic Corridor to secure trade routes and energy supplies for its western parts.

Tarar said that while government has still allocated a notional amount of Rs150 million for the airport as a backup measure, the project will be completed by China.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said a Pakistani delegation will leave for Beijing soon to discuss the project with Chinese authorities. He said China will either construct the airport on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis or provide a concessionary loan to Pakistan.

He said the government will soon issue an international tender to hire a consultant to make Gwadar a city along the lines of Dubai and Singapore.

Corridor Controversy

While the government is reluctant to accept there was any controversy over changing the route of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, opposition senators staged a token walkout from the standing committee meeting over the issue. The situation went out of hand when the planning secretary and acting communication secretary gave contradictory statements over the issue.

“The original corridor route was never discussed with China at any stage”, said the planning secretary. According to the acting communication secretary, however, “The original route was discussed with China but the Chinese side was more interested in the new route.”

Senator Talha Mahmood of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl disclosed that he and his party chief met the Chinese ambassador who told them that “China was comfortable with any route as long as it assured security for movement.”

The standing committee recommended the government restore the old route of the corridor. But the planning minister insisted there was no change in the route and the government was only implementing the first phase of the route. He claimed people were exploiting the issue for political gains.

Distribution of financial aid

The standing committee also recommended that the government distribute the $1.5 billion received from Saudi Arabia among the provinces under the NFC formula. It added that any future money received under the Pakistan Development Fund should also be distributed under the NFC formula.

The committee also advised the government to pay Rs56 billion interest on delayed payment of net hydel profit to K-P. It also endorsed Senator Haji Adeel’s proposal to seek Rs67 billion payments from Punjab and Sindh as water usage charges.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • IndianBuraq
    Jun 13, 2014 - 9:50AM

    The third colonization of Pakistan is beginning.

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  • Sarmad
    Jun 13, 2014 - 11:22AM

    @IndianBuraq:
    Indians should not be concerned about whats going on in Pakistan…you have decided to get colonized by US so why criticize us?

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  • Ussama Yaqub
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:10PM

    And who will defend it?

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  • koshur_batta
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:11PM

    @Sarnad care you tell us how US colonized India? US wants to sell their Weapons but India said no. US wanted to sell their Nuclear Equipment but India said no. US wants to bring their Multinationals to India and wants India to make them immune to Indian rules, India said no. Do tell us how India is being colonized?

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  • Balram
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:16PM

    @Sarmad:
    Since when did Indians became a colony of US?
    Didn’t you heard Indians are actually stealing american professional jobs?
    It’s Pakistan which was first a colony of England, then of US during cold war and now China. And seriously? Giving away entire project to a foreign nation? It’s been almost 70yrs since Independence, if you still haven’t made a company which can build airports then i’m just sad. BTW, Google search GVK and learn something maybe. Good Day.

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  • truthbetold
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:20PM

    Firs there was a great port connected to nothing. Now there is going to be an international airport connected to nothing other than a few fishing boats in Gawadar.

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  • Sarmad
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:22PM

    Yep, because the US is building all the ports, metros, roads & rails in India!

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  • Gemini
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:51PM

    What’s the problem if they are building it, Yeah i have seen some Indian news channels claiming that China is building their army check posts across the India but i think it’s better for us after that we will be able to use our army on other borders as well.

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  • S
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:51PM

    lollllll so many indians comments already, why o why…..just makes me laugh

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  • Moiz Omar
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:52PM

    Is China’s Government our government now?Recommend

  • modification
    Jun 13, 2014 - 1:02PM

    @buraq, nobody cares, your dad isnt building the airport, China is. China is also building nuclear power stations in England, that colonization too.

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  • Faisal Malik
    Jun 13, 2014 - 2:53PM

    @buraq, @koshur_batta and etc
    What about Tibet, where US gave billions of dollar to setup amercian setup to watch chinese over there!!!! What about Civil Nuclear contract of India and US etc… they are all related to weapon of mass destruction. On the other hand single air port by China in Pakistan very funny even too funny ;)Recommend

  • John B
    Jun 13, 2014 - 3:25PM

    The interesting point worth noting here is that PAK is essentially ready to give any part of the country to anyone one under whatever terms. China will give us loan (already assumed that they will) or they will build-operate( hmm, that is also assumed).

    Gwadar in line with Dubai ! Hmmm.

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  • Mega
    Jun 13, 2014 - 11:22PM

    @faisal malik Tibetans are in india just like African,afgans,srilankan,Bangladeshi, Pakistani Hindus refugees and other nationals residing in india. Tibetans and india are linked by religion Buddhism.. In our religion Buddha is is ninth avatar of Vishnu. So we believe in Buddhism as Jain-buddh-Hinduism are interlinked. Buddhist people in trouble are our brothers so we give them shelter. It has nothing to do with USA. When we gave them shelter we were enemies with USA and friends with Russia. So Your theory doesn’t make sense.
    You mention “civil” nuclear deal yet you say “weapon of mass destruction”. For your info its “civil nuclear” meant to produce electricity not create weapons and those materials are “bought” by india’s money and built by our company or joint cooperation. We don’t take aid for our weapons or market aid from them. But “buy” them.

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  • Mega
    Jun 13, 2014 - 11:26PM

    @sarmad before making such foolish statement did you even bother checking who made mumbai t2 terminal? Gurgoan metro and others etc. or even other projects where its joint venture? We don’t hand over out airport to someone on BOT basis.

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  • Asif Khan
    Jun 13, 2014 - 11:52PM

    Tell me first, you are so jealous with Pak-China friendship, why Indians…..?Recommend

  • Humayun
    Jun 14, 2014 - 8:18AM

    Hope security will be better than KHI airport and less inconvenientRecommend

  • Kashif
    Jun 14, 2014 - 9:08AM

    Now this is true friendship. Please don’t be jealous, Indians. Pakistan loves China, especially when they do these sorts of projects for us. Long live the Pakistan-China nexus! One thing going in Pakistan’s favor is that we really know whom to rely on: UK for to educate our best and brightest, US for military assistance, and China for construction projects. Indians tend to rely on themselves too much, which has stymied their growth.

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  • sharabi
    Jun 14, 2014 - 10:36AM

    @Sarmad
    Kolkata Metro (since 1984): Government of India
    Delhi Metro (since 2002): Government of India
    Bangalore Metro (since 2011): Government of Karnataka state
    Rapid Metro Gurgaun (Since 2013): DLF an Indian MNC
    Mumbai Metro(2014): Reliance An Indian MNC
    Jaipur Metro Rajasthan(Under construction): Government of Rajasthan State

    Now please update your knowledge.
    Trains are being Developed in Pune & Manesar (Alstom India, BEML, Mitshubishi Rotem Cons)

    Recommend

  • Bewildered
    Jun 14, 2014 - 11:07AM

    @Mega:

    “Tibetans and india are linked by religion Buddhism.. In our religion Buddha is is ninth avatar of Vishnu. So we believe in Buddhism as Jain-buddh-Hinduism are interlinked. Buddhist people in trouble are our brothers so we give them shelter.”

    That is why you wiped-out almost all the population of Buddhists and Jains in India. Once the Buddhists were 60% and Jains were 20% of the sub-continent population during their peek, but now both have been reduced to less than 1% of the India’s population. Lies, deceits, and cover-ups are ingrained in the Indians character.

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  • wasim ahmed
    Jun 14, 2014 - 3:42PM

    Lol @ indains jealousy……. its our country keep your nose out of it… and try to get 400 millions indians out of poverty…..

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  • Shah
    Jun 15, 2014 - 10:18AM

    @wasim ahmed:
    It’s A Mental Thing Bro Pak China Friendship Has Given These Poor Souls Sleepless Nights

    Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 15, 2014 - 4:52PM

    In the past a PM, daughter of an Iranian mother n unknown or per say debatable father’s nationality n above all from a minority sect handed one of Pakistan Island to UAE for 100% years. Now, another minority PM/CM handing over Chinese our Guwadar port, airport, railways n list can go on n on. and interestingly everyone just doing nothing but watch this drama. Isn’t it time that sons/daughters of this country take over n throw all/any immigrant politician and their heirs out of the country.

    Recommend

  • antanu
    Jun 16, 2014 - 2:38AM

    I am an Indian. ..from kolkata. .and sad to see so many comments from my compatriots which smell of sour grapes. ..After all we have been waiting for collapse of pakistan for long and gleefull expectations but oh…what is happening. ..The country is getting foreign investments and appear to be heading back to its feet.so anticlimax. ..friends please get rid of hypocrisy and appreciate if our neighbour is fighting back. why this negative thinking…It proves we are big in size but very small in mentally. ..wonder how we would behave if a lowly babu from US tells that we are a super power..obviously we would go out of our pants.Recommend

  • shah
    Jun 16, 2014 - 10:53AM

    @Ahmed: Care To Be More Specific and Less Insulting

    Recommend

  • a
    Jun 28, 2014 - 11:18PM

    all readers must be commenting on the article itself instead of pulling each other’s leg
    this will make the comments more enlightening and will open our vision more about the world we live in

    Recommend

  • Aug 26, 2014 - 2:55PM

    Aslam o allikum vision Gwadar is very diffrent program but allwas good conddetion plan for gwadar city

    Recommend

  • Aug 26, 2014 - 3:07PM

    Aslamo el ikum mashallha Gwadar city is very beutifull and very nise.Recommend

  • Shah
    Oct 7, 2014 - 12:12PM

    @sharabi: Ok Now To Get You Out Of Your Delusions

    Kolkata Metro Was Built With Soviet Assistance
    Delhi Metro Was Built With Japanese Financial and Technical Assistance
    Mumbai and Gurgoan Metro Chinese Rolling Stock

    Recommend

  • Shah
    Oct 7, 2014 - 12:13PM

    @sharabi: Ok Now To Get You Out Of Your Delusions

    Kolkata Metro Was Built With Soviet Assistance
    Delhi Metro Was Built With Japanese Financial and Technical Assistance
    Mumbai and Gurgoan Metro Chinese Rolling StockRecommend

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