The city of Gwadar in southwestern Pakistan lies between two perfectly curved bays on an isthmus. that leads to a peninsula shaped like a hammerhead. Located on the Gulf of Oman, Gwadar has been a fishing village for most of its modern history. Traditional fishing boats still cruise. the aquamarine waters, while others rest on the sandy beaches along the coast. Sharp hills and cliffs (the city’s name translates to ‘Wind Gate’). carved in a straight line by merciless winds rise above the sparse vegetation. that dominates the landscape. On the isthmus is the ancient city of Gwadar, inhabited by fishermen. and their families for generations.
Graceful pavement and dramatic scale.
Located in the southeastern part of the peninsula. the old town darts just a short distance from the tracks, densely packed housing. and open sewers is the newly constructed port complex. With its graceful pavement and dramatic scale. it feels like it’s imported from another world. And in a way it is Gwadar water Port is the most famous project of China’s strategic investment in South Asia. With a population of 5,000.20 years ago. this remote outpost lies 470 kilometers from Karachi, Pakistan’s economic capital. But if all goes according to plan, it will connect Gwadar in western China with a major shipping route in Asia. Chinese and Pakistani officials pushed ahead with the plan, promising Gwadar residents. that the port would bring prosperity and development to Gwadar city.
Strictly controlled excursion.
its surrounding areas. which plagued by chronic water shortages and power outages. is skeptical. Gwadar located in Baluchistan. a volatile province with a long history of armed insurgency. and conflict with the Pakistani state. As a result, the port militarized and heavily fortified. There are many checkpoints in the surrounding area. which has created a backlash among locals. Foreigners have a hard time getting visas to visit unless. it’s a strictly controlled excursion. These steps taken by the Pakistani military. ostensibly to secure the port complex. and the Chinese workers to build it, seem to confirm the residents’ worst fears.
Coastal highway built.
In April 2015, China and Pakistan announced. the Gwadar Plan as the flagship of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The plan, originally valued at $46 billion. and now valued at $62 billion, is hard to pin down. but it will extend its network of 3,200 kilometers across northern Pakistan. and western China to the deep-sea port of Gwadar. Railways, roads, pipelines, power plants. and fiber optic cables run all over Pakistan. The damaged Karakorum Highway in northern Pakistan. is undergoing costly repairs to keep it running year-round. (Now rain or snow can stop travel altogether.) Before the coastal highway built. the coastal highway linking Gwadar and Karachi completed in his 2004, with a travel time of 48 hours. from he reduced to 7 hours. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is nearing completion of a new highway linking. the port with existing roads. The development of Gwadar is just one part of China’s ambitious Belt.
includes 139 countries that represent his 63% of the world’s population. and transport an estimated quarter of the world’s goods and services. But the realities of the field can spoil these grand plans. Baluchistan, which joined Pakistan a year after its founding in 1947. is politically marginalized, underdeveloped and home to a low-level but long-running rebellion. This led to sporadic rebellions, including full-blown rebellions in the 1970s. Today the Baloch national movement divided. Some of its members are outright separatists demanding a new independent state. Others simply want more rights within federated Pakistan. But they all share a historic set of grievances. In other words, Baluchistan has exploited by outsiders.
Cooperation between China.
In this regard, cooperation between China. and the central government of Pakistan in Gwadar viewed with great suspicion by many locals. “They feel that eventually China will take Gwadar and it will never come back,” Parveen said by phone. Palvin, a young woman from Turbat, 120 kilometers northeast of Gwadar. asked me to change her name, considering that the locals she speaks are at risk of official reprisal. rice field. Gwadar, where unemployment is high. is home to thousands of Chinese workers, from engineers to handymen. drawing attention to a trade locals perceive to be no good. This resentment also causes Baroque rebels to target Chinese workers. In May 2004, militants killed three of his Chinese engineers in Gwadar. during the first phase of port construction. In April 2019.
In May 2019 gunmen broke into Gwadar’s only luxury hotel. the Pearl Continental Hotel. and opened fire, killing five people (four hotel staff and one Pakistani soldier).
The Baloch separatist group claimed responsibility on Twitter, claiming. that “our fighters attacked Chinese and other foreign investors.” This attack caused panic. The hotel is next to a military base and is heavily guarded. (I stayed there in 2016 and amazed at how tight security was throughout Gwadar. especially at the hotel). Then, in April 2021, someone loaded a car with explosives. and left it in the parking lot of the Serena Hotel in Quetta. the capital of Baluchistan. The target appears to have been the Chinese ambassador.
while the decline is frustrating for China. it should not come as a surprise to those experienced in the region.”The Chinese are always in a hurry. They do it and then move on. They build infrastructure. but they don’t focus on peace or stability. reality or the logic behind it. said Senior Researcher Raffaello Pantucci. Royal United Service Institute. a British think tank, Defense and Security, “They don’t like to drawn into local contexts. There is no limit. and natural resources. is not given to local residents. gas and oil. Distrust of the existing political system is widespread among the public.
Also read: Gwadar today