China set to take over reins of Pakistan's Gwadar port

China appears all set to take over the reins of Pakistan's strategic Gwadar port in Balochistan, with the Singapore Port Authority (SPA) and its partners intending to pull out of a 40-year management and development contract.

world Updated: Aug 29, 2012 23:01 IST
PTI

China appears all set to take over the reins of Pakistan's strategic Gwadar port in Balochistan, with the Singapore Port Authority (SPA) and its partners intending to pull out of a 40-year management and development contract.

The SPA and its partners, the National Logistics Cell and AKD Group, have been allowed to quit the project after the government failed to transfer 584 acres at the mouth of the port that are currently in the possession of the Pakistan Navy.

"We have not been able to meet contractual obligations and resolve land issues. As a result, they (SPA and its partners) have gone under duress and we issued them a no objection certificate on Tuesday to give up their contract," ports and shipping minister Babar Khan Ghauri told a meeting of the senate's standing committee on ports and shipping on Tuesday.

"Now the Chinese will take over Gwadar Port," Ghauri said.

He indicated that China will invest $10 billion to develop the port in Balochistan and manage its operations but did not give details.

After its development by the Chinese government at a cost of $288 million, Pakistan's only deep sea port was handed over to SPA under a 40-year agreement in February 2007.

The army-run National Logistics Cell and AKD Group of Karachi were party to the agreement, which covered the port's management.

First Published: Aug 29, 2012 22:59 IST