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Understanding Gwadar Port

By Ghalib Sultan

Recently there has been some criticism of the strategic decision to build Gwadar port. In fact one critic has called the Port a - cruel joke. It is therefore important that we marshal some facts and then decide whether Gwadar was in Pakistan's interest or not. It is important to get this right because future policies of the new government will depend on how we view Gwadar.

The usual criteria for a port have been listed and it is being said that Gwadar does not meet these criteria. However, there are hundreds of ports which meet these criteria but are of negligible significance. On the other hand some of the world's most successful ports do not meet these criteria. There was huge skepticism when the 50 - berth Jabel Ali port was conceived. It met none of these criteria. In fact it was just a sandy beach with no infrastructure, no communications network, no population, no thriving hinterland, no areas of production, no water, power, roads, rail roads etc at all. Today it is a hugely thriving port.