The world is comprised of 70% of water, whoever rules the water rules the world. The Greek navy at the time of Second Persian invasion was not the largest in the known world. Instead, it beat that navy and through its victory the western civilization was preserved. A land power, the Persian Empire created a navy out of conquered seafaring nations. Similarly, for 100 years the US provided shelter to Turkey so its cold war rival Soviet Union, could not dominate the Black and Mediterranean seas by controlling the two vital natural straits of Bosphorus and the Dardanelles in Turkey. The importance of Sea Lines of Communications (SLCOs) can be assessed from the fact that countries which have deep sea ports or straits can turn their fate from Bedouin societies to modern societies as Dubai did.
Fate of Pakistan can also be transformed if the strategically located port of Gwadar is utilized properly. This port can be used as international hub as it connects three regions i.e. South Asia, Central Asia and Middle East. The warm water deep sea port is now developed and became operational last year. It has already attracted regional countries who have shown interest to do trade via this port. The success of the port will provide numerous economic and development opportunities for Balochistan and the rest of the country. It has the capability to transport the country from an underdeveloped state to a developed one.
Though the port is operational, but its umbrella project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is yet to be completed. Development of the port city is mandatory for the success of the port itself. This can be done only with the mutual efforts of both Federal and Provincial Governments.
Government is planning to develop Gwadar Model City. Total area of this model city will be 290,000 acres which will include 160,000 acres of residential area and the rest of the area will be utilized for industrial purposes. Apart from that a strategy has also been charted down to accommodate the big ships by providing them basic facilities including the availability of oil supply. To address the issue, government has decided to construct a mega oil city at Gwadar on 80,000 acres under the umbrella of CPEC. This mega city will not only be used for refueling of the ships but also to import oil through Gwadar to China. The oil will be imported from Gulf and will be stored at this proposed mega Gwadar oil city. The Director-General of Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) Dr. Sajjad H Baloch said that ‘we have forwarded PC-1 to the Ministry of Petroleum for acquiring 80,000 acres for this mega oil city at Gwadar with the estimated cost of Rs10 billion. A refinery, petrochemical industries and storage will be established in the oil city’. This project is expected to be completed by end of 2018.
Success of this port will not only benefit China by reducing the duration of Chinese shipments from 40 days to 7 days, but it will also benefit the economically deprived areas of Pakistan. Balochistan, which has been deprived the most throughout history will be getting the most from this project. The CPEC connects all the provinces of Pakistan, and will lead towards a strong federation.