Iran's Chabahar vs Pakistan's Gwadar

Chabahar port in Iran is only about 100 miles from Gwadar port in Pakistan. Both are natural deep sea ports in the Arabian sea.

Gwadar Extends into Deep Sea with East & West Bays


Eastern Half of Gwadar Port 


Gwadar port's planned capacity when it is completed will be 300 to 400 million tons of cargo annually.  It is comparable to the capacity of all of India's ports combined annual capacity of 500 million tons of cargo today.   It is far larger than the 10-12 million tons cargo handling capacity planned for Chabahar.

Completed Gwadar Berths & Cranes





To put Gwadar's scale in perspective, let's compare it with the largest US port of Long Beach which handles 80 million tons of cargo, about a quarter of what Gwadar will handle upon completion of the project. Gawadar port will be capable of handling the world's largest container ships and massive oil tankers.



Gawadar port is being built in Pakistan by the Chinese as part of the ambitious $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that will eventually serve as Hong Kong West for  growing Chinese trade with the Middle East and Europe.  CPEC will also enable Pakistan to bypass Afghanistan to trade with Central Asia through China across China's borders with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Gwadar Port Authority Building

Chabahar is ostensibly an Indian effort to build a port in Iran to bypass Pakistan for India's trade with landlocked Afghanistan and other Central Asian states.  Prime Minister Modi has committed $500 million investment in Chabahar, a tiny fraction of the Chinese commitment for Gwadar. A trilateral agreement was recently signed in Tehran by Indian Prime Minister Modi, Iranian President Rouhani and Afghan President Ghani.

Trade with Afghanistan through Afghan-Iran border in the West will probably remain a pipe dream given that 1) most of Afghan population lives in east and south close to the border with Pakistan and 2) Afghanistan has very poor infrastructure making it very difficult to move cargo across land from west to east and south of the country.

Big Chinese Ship Docked at Gwadar

Pakistan suspects that India's real objective in Iran is to locate its intelligence agents under the cover of Chabahar port construction workers to sabotage China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and support Baloch insurgency to destabilize Pakistan. These suspicions were strengthened when Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav, operating under the fake name Husain Mubarak Patel, was arrested in Balochistan in March this year. Yadav confessed he was operating as an undercover RAW agent from his base in Chabahar, Iran.

If Iran does nothing to stop Indian covert activities from its soil against Pakistan, Iran-Pakistan relations could suffer irreparable harm. Efforts to sabotage CPEC will not please China either, and the Chinese are far more important to Iran as trading partners than India. This should give pause to hardline anti-Pakistan sectarian elements in Tehran.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsYDpMY35U8





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Views: 2075

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 10, 2016 at 5:00pm

#Chinese ship with 300 containers to depart from #Gwadar Port on Sunday. #Pakistan #CPEC https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/163792-Gwadar-Port-opening-on-Sunday

The civil and military leadership of China and Pakistan will open international port at Gwadar on Sunday. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif will see off Chinese containers leaving for Africa.

Heads of the armed forces, diplomats, chief ministers of Balochistan and other provinces and other dignitaries will be invited for this event in the next 48 hours.

Defying designs of India and its allies, loading of 300 containers will be completed on Saturday and they will depart from the port the next day.

To counter Gwadar, India has invested $12 million in Iran’s Chaubahar port, which is no match to Gwadar port. Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri is going to China on invitation next month.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 13, 2016 at 9:29pm

#Chinese ship at #GwadarPort carrying containers headed to #Africa #MidEast via #Pakistan land route. #CPEC #China http://www.smh.com.au/world/new-silk-road-first-large-chinese-shipment-passes-through-key-pakistani-port-20161113-gsohoi.html 

"Pakistan is located at the intersection of three engines of growth in Asia - South Asia, China and Central Asia," Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said at a ceremony on Sunday.

"CPEC will help in integrating these regions into an economic zone offering great opportunities for people of the region as well as investors from all over the world."

A Pakistan Navy soldier stands guard while a loaded Chinese ship prepares to depart, at Gwadar port.A Pakistan Navy soldier stands guard while a loaded Chinese ship prepares to depart, at Gwadar port. Photo: AP

Army chief General Raheel Sharif also attended Sunday's ceremony at the port, which is expected mostly to see imports of building materials in the next year before eventually becoming a gateway for goods from western China's Xinjiang province.

Chinese Container Ship Cosco Wellington left Gwadar today. Ship details:   

IMO: 9484417
MMSI: 477004600
Call Sign: VRME3
Flag: Hong Kong [HK]
AIS Vessel Type: Cargo
Gross Tonnage: 40465
Deadweight: 49959 t
Length Overall x Breadth Extreme: 261.1m × 32.25m
Year Built: 2013
Status: Active


Read more at http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:684942/mms...

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 5, 2017 at 4:32pm

#Iran, #India trade charges on delay of #Chabahar port. #Gwadar #Pakistan #Afghanistan http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/iran-i... … via @economictimes

The Budget may have allotted Rs 150 crore for the development of Chabahar port in Iran, but it may not be enough to bring the long delayed project back to life as Tehran has not yet submitted a proposal for release of the fund despite several reminders, some officials say. 

Indian government had set aside $235 million, or about Rs 150 crore, line of credit for the project since 2015 but is unable to release the first tranche of $150 million, they said. 


"The funds cannot be released without paperwork and this has not yet reached the Indian government. Even reminders from EXIM Bank to Iran have not helped," a person familiar with the matter told ET. 

"There are apparently no reasons behind Iran's delay in submitting the proposal for the release of loan," the person alleged. 

Iranian government sources, however, told ET that the Indian side is delaying work on the project, but did not explain reasons for delay. The project was earlier delayed when the Iranian side unilaterally changed terms and conditions on the eve of the signing of MoU in 2015 by introducing a local stakeholder without consulting India, Indian sources said. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 25, 2017 at 10:06pm

#Land rush around #Pakistan's #Gwadar port triggered by #Chinese investment | Reuters #CPEC

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idINKBN16215Q
Pakistani real estate giant Rafi Group made a ten-fold profit last year from its sale of hundreds of acres of land in the remote fishing town of Gwadar, acquired soon after the government announced plans for a deep-sea port there.

The windfall came after 12 years of waiting patiently for the Gwadar port to emerge as the centrepiece of China's ambitious plans for a trade and energy corridor stretching from the Persian Gulf, across Pakistan, into western Xinjiang.

"We had anticipated the Chinese would need a route to the Arabian Sea," Rafi Group Chief Executive Shehriar Rafi told Reuters. "And today, all routes lead back to Gwadar."

Gwadar forms the southern Pakistan hub of a $57-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of infrastructure and energy projects Beijing announced in 2014.

Since then, land prices have skyrocketed as property demand has spiked, and dozens of real estate firms want to cash in.

"Gwadar is a 'Made in China' brand and everyone wants a piece," said realtor Afzal Adil, one of several who shifted operations from the eastern city of Lahore in 2015.

Last year, Pakistan welcomed the first large shipment of Chinese goods at Gwadar, where the China Overseas Ports Holding Company Ltd took over operations in 2013. It plans to eventually handle 300 million to 400 million tons of cargo a year.

It also aims to develop seafood processing plants in a nearby free trade zone sprawled over 923 hectares (2,281 acres).

The route through Gwadar offers China its shortest path to the oil-rich Middle East, Africa, and most of the Western hemisphere, besides promising to open up remote, landlocked Xinjiang.

Last year, the Applied Economics Research Centre estimated the corridor would create 700,000 jobs in Pakistan and a Chinese newspaper recently put the number at more than 2 million.

Authorities have completed an expressway through Gwadar, which has a 350-km (218-mile) road network. A new international airport kicks off next year, to handle an influx of hundreds of Chinese traders and officials expected to live near the port.

The volume of Gwadar property searches surged 14-fold on Pakistan's largest real estate database, Zameen.com, between 2014 and 2016, up from a prior rate of a few hundred a month.

"It's like a gold rush," said Chief Executive Zeeshan Ali Khan. "Anyone who is interested in real estate, be it an investor or a developer, is eyeing Gwadar."

Prices, which have risen two- to four-fold on average, are climbing "on a weekly basis," said Saad Arshed, the Pakistan managing director of online real estate marketplace Lamudi.pk.

Regional fishermen have held strikes during the last two years, to protest against being displaced by the port.

To keep pace with the interest, urban officials are struggling to computerise land management and record-keeping. "We are trying to upgrade as fast as we can," said Zakir Majeed, an official of the Gwadar Development Authority (GDA).

But Gwadar lacks basic education and health facilities, in contrast to the gleaming towers and piped drinking water of the "smart city" envisioned by the GDA.

"For commercial projects, things are moving fast," Lamudi's Arshed said. "But people actually living there, that will take a long time."

Port officials expect the population to hit 2 million over the next two decades, from about 185,000 now.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 28, 2017 at 2:22pm

Chinese investors are contemplating to build a chemical and automobile city in Gwadar under the umbrella of #CPEC

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1341071/gwadar-china-build-automobile-...

Chinese investors are contemplating to build a chemical and automobile city in Gwadar under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

According to a private news channel, sources linked to CPEC project stated that the Chinese authorities have already initiated paperwork on said projects, which reflects their seriousness.

Analysts have advised owners of local automobile industry to start joint ventures with Chinese as this would help in transfer of technology as well as boost the local industry. Earlier, China announced to set up a steel factory under CPEC apart from various other projects.

China is developing the Gwadar port as a strategic and commercial hub under its ‘One-Belt One-Road’ initiative that promises shared regional prosperity. CPEC is one of many arteries of the ‘One-Belt One-Road’

In 2013, Pakistan handed over the Gwadar port to the Chinese company by annulling a deal with a Singapore company that could not develop the port after taking over in 2007. The ECC further approved amendments in the Gwadar Port Concession Agreement for operating and developing the Gwadar port and free zone.


On October 31, hundreds of Chinese trucks loaded with goods rolled into the Sost dry port in Gilgit-Baltistan as a multibillion-dollar project between Pakistan and China formally became operational.

The corridor is about 3,000-kilometre long consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect China’s Xinjiang province to the rest of the world through Gwadar port.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 22, 2017 at 10:50am

India shouldn’t drag China into dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir: Expert

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/india-shouldn-t-drag-china...

China needs to have access to ports such as Gwadar in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to move its huge shipments of cargo to other parts of the world, said Wang Zhan, a deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s Parliament, and president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

“I know India has lot of disagreements with the CPEC to Gwadar port. But if you are Chinese, considering (the situation in) Malacca Strait and the South China Sea, you would be looking for alternative passageways. We have so much cargo, we surely need the ports. We have to pass by the Indian Ocean to reach Europe,” he said.

Speaking exclusively to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the just-concluded NPC session, Wang said: “I know India and Pakistan have a dispute over (Kashmir.) If we go through the Kashmir area, which belongs to India, its a problem of sovereignty (for India) but now Pakistan has the right of administration (over PoK). So, it’s a problem between India and Pakistan and doesn’t relate to China.”

Wang, who is also managing director of the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, said China wasn’t the first country to bring up the Silk Road plan to connect regions and continents.

“Japan brought up the Silk Road in 1990s, an American Harvard professor brought it up in 2005, and Hillary Clinton brought it up in 2011. They all brought up the Silk Road concept earlier than China,” he said, adding some proposals were north to south and China’s east to west.

“If all the projects in these plans could be realised, the countries touched in the plans would definitely develop, and the economic development would decrease the element of war and chaos,” he added.

Wang said China’s increasing investments in infrastructure, such as ports, in South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka is purely for economic reasons.

“For sure it’s for economic reasons. You can know the answer by the map. India is a peninsula, the trade between Europe and China have to pass by the sea near India and Sri Lanka. It’s decided by geography. We can’t go by Antarctica. If you think from China’s view, you will do the same,” he said.

Referring to China’s objections to India drilling for oil in the South China Sea, Wang blamed Vietnam for the confusion.

“In the 1970s, the Vietnamese had completely agreed that South China Sea belongs to China. Later, they occupied 29 islands and built infrastructure. India drilled for oil in the same area, so we protested. The South China Sea is China’s lifeline. It’s not necessary for India to get involved in the South China Sea disputes,” Wang said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 4, 2017 at 8:07am

Feature: Port co-built with China fuels Pakistan's economic engine
Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-03 17:05:20|Editor: ying

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-04/03/c_136180263.htm

by Liu Tian
ISLAMABAD, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Gwadar, an poorly-known port town previously in Pakistan has been becoming a new economic engine for the country with the construction of a free zone co-built with China.
"We have finished 60 percent of the first-phase construction for the port's free zone, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, one year earlier than we planned," Hu Yaozong, deputy general manager of the Gwadar Free Zone Company, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Chinese engineers and their Pakistani counterparts are working around clock in the construction site with the hope of seeing the free zone is open to operation as early as possible.
The free zone is a key step towards developing the Gwadar port into an important regional hub that will benefit not only south Asia, but also the countries in central Asia and the Middle East.
The free zone, which covers about 923 hectares of land and will be developed in four phases. It is designed to take advantage of Balochistan's rich fishery and mineral resources to develop relevant industries for overseas market and to develop light industry for the domestic consumption.
As a part of the light industry plan, China's Linyi overseas market, a comprehensive shopping mall project, will soon be introduced into the free zone.
"It is quite alike the renowned Yiwu small commodities market in China. The Linyi market in Gwadar will develop an overseas warehouse so as to make their goods not only available in the Pakistan market, but also in markets around the region," said Hu.
According to Hu, the first round of investment has almost completed with projects on fishery and electric motors settled and business center enterprises moved in.
The second-phase construction of the free zone is featured with a huge stainless steel factory, which, Hu added, would create a considerable number of jobs for locals in Gwadar, which has a population of less than 100,000.
With the further development of the port and free zone, work forces in other villages around Gwadar are expected to flow into Gwadar.
According to the deputy general manager, a training school donated by China will be completed soon. After short-term training, local people are expected to find a position in the developing Gwadar, he said.
Munir Ahmad Jan, director general of the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), also shows high expectations on Gwadar's future.
Besides Chinese and Pakistani investors, a lot of investors from other countries have come to the GPA to consult on business opportunities in the free zone, he said.
In 2016, the Pakistani government issued a financial act which ensured a 23-year tax exemption policy for the Gwadar free zone in a bid to attract more international investors.
Jan said that as businesspeople have seen the bright future of the Gwadar port, a lot of Pakistani real estate investors came to Gwadar to purchase land.
He said the land prices now in Gwadar are increasing fast and real estate related industries have witnessed real momentum in the small city.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 4, 2017 at 8:07am

Feature: Port co-built with China fuels Pakistan's economic engine
Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-03 17:05:20|Editor: ying

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-04/03/c_136180263.htm

Jan said that as businesspeople have seen the bright future of the Gwadar port, a lot of Pakistani real estate investors came to Gwadar to purchase land.
He said the land prices now in Gwadar are increasing fast and real estate related industries have witnessed real momentum in the small city.
"We feel that Gwadar's free zone area needs further expansion and we have requested for more area," said the official.
"China and Pakistan have an equally long history, but China developed rapidly due to sincere Chinese leadership and now it has become the leading economy in the world. We shall try to maximize our experiences, cooperation and assistance from China to develop our own country and improve common people's lives," Jan told Xinhua.
The development of the Gwadar port is not only in the economic field, but also at a broader social level.
A vessel carrying construction material from a China-donated emergency center reached Gwadar in March.
The medical center, which will come into service as early as in May, is designed to carry out basic diagnosis and treatment, conduct small surgeries and emergency rescues.
It will initially be operated by Chinese medical teams and be gradually handed over to the Pakistani side in the future.
In September last year, a China-donated primary school came into use in Gwadar. The school had planned to enroll about 150 pupils, but more than 300 students of different grades attend the school as many locals believed that the school had better teachers and facilities.
"We are very thankful to the Chinese people who have long been very active in Pakistan's infrastructural development. I think our relationship will be further strengthened with the passage of time because of the sincere leadership on both sides," Jan concluded.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 9, 2017 at 4:48pm

#India's plan to develop #Iran's key #Chabahar port faces #US headwinds. #Gwadar #CPEC #Pakistan http://reut.rs/2sL5iTx via @Reuters

Western manufacturers are shying away from supplying equipment for an Iranian port that India is developing for fear the United States may reimpose sanctions on Tehran, Indian officials say, dealing a blow to New Delhi's strategic ambitions in the region.

Lying on the Gulf of Oman along the approaches to the Straits of Hormuz, the port of Chabahar is central to India's hopes to crack open a transport corridor to Central Asia and Afghanistan that bypasses arch-rival Pakistan.

India committed $500 million to speed development of the port after sanctions on Iran were lifted following a deal struck between major powers and Tehran to curb its nuclear program in 2015.

But the state-owned Indian firm that is developing Chabahar is yet to award a single tender for supplying equipment such as cranes and forklifts, according to two government sources tracking India's biggest overseas infrastructure push.

U.S. President Donald Trump denounced the nuclear agreement on the campaign trail, and since taking office in January has accused Iran of being a threat to countries across the Middle East.

Swiss engineering group Liebherr and Finland's Konecranes (KCRA.HE) and Cargotec (CGCBV.HE) have told India Ports Global Pvt Ltd, which is developing the deep water port, they were unable to take part in the bids as their banks were not ready to facilitate transactions involving Iran due to the uncertainty over U.S. policy, the two officials said in separate conversations with Reuters.

These firms dominate the market for customized equipment to develop jetties and container terminals. One official said the first tender was floated in September, but attracted few bidders because of the fear of renewed sanctions. That fear has intensified since January.

"Now the situation is that we are running after suppliers," one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of matter.

A Konecranes spokeswoman declined to comment beyond confirming the company was not involved in the project.

Cargotec and Liebherr did not respond to requests for comment.

------

prodded in part by China's development of Gwadar port, which lies barely 100 km (60 miles) from Chabahar on the Pakistani coast, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has unveiled massive investment plans centered around the Iranian port, offering to help build railways, roads and fertilizer plants that could eventually amount to $15 billion.

So far, even an initial credit line of $150 million that India wants to extend to Iran for development of Chabahar has remained a non-starter as Tehran has not been able to do its part of work.

"They have not sought the loan from us because they haven't awarded the tenders, either because of lack of participation or banking problems," said the second government official.

Ambassador Kumar said the Iran had indicated it would be sending proposals shortly to tap the credit line.

Meena Singh Roy, who heads the West Asia center at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, a New Delhi think-tank, said increasing tension between Washington and Tehran would have an impact on the port project.

"The Chabahar Project has strategic significance for India," she said. "However ... nothing much seems to be moving due to new uncertainties in the region."

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 5, 2017 at 5:09pm

Iran and Pakistan: An Interview with Alex Vatanka

, Iran and Pakistan: Security, Diplomacy and American Influence


https://lawfareblog.com/iran-and-pakistan-interview-alex-vatanka


You also discuss the growth of anti-Shia sectarianism in Pakistan and the transition from Zulfikar Bhutto to Zia ul-Haq. Can you explain that a little bit?

Zulfikar Bhutto is a Pakistani Shia himself. He's not interested in the sectarian dimensions of this at all. In fact, when I studied Iranian-Pakistani relations from the 1940s all the way up to the present, you have to travel to the late 1970s—almost 40 years go by where the Sunni-Shia issue isn't mentioned at all in any of the cables coming out of London and elsewhere. It's a non-factor. Nobody cares.

It becomes an issue when Gen. Zia ul-Haq takes over and decides to Islamize Pakistani society the way he thinks it should be done, which is the hardline Sunni version of Islam, which in turn creates fear among the large (about 20 percent) Shia minority in Pakistan. But remember, Zia ul-Haq takes over in '77 and the Shah falls in '79, and if you look at that two-year period and say, how much fear and anxiety did ul-Haq's policies about becoming more of a Sunni state create in Tehran? The answer is, very little. What the Shah worries about is that Zia ul-Haq turns to the Gulf Arab states for patronage or guardianship, whatever you want to call it. It is only after Khomeini comes to power in Iran in '79 and who also plays the sectarian card that you see an element of sectarianism becoming more of a practice.

But again, I want to emphasize, even when Khomeini was alive in the 1980s, this is largely limited. When we think about 20 percent of Pakistan's Muslims are Shia, that you have a couple thousand that are joining radical groups doesn't tell me that sectarianism was the number one item on the agenda.

Why would Bhutto in the early 1970s turn to the Gulf Arab states? This is important. He's a Shia Pakistani leader. He's not driven by the fact that he shares being Shia with the Shah of Iran; in fact, he falls out with the Shah of Iran. Why? Because he sees the Shah of Iran looking down on Pakistan increasingly after Pakistan's defeat against India in 1971, and Zulifikar Bhutto feels the Shah thinks he is by nature going to lead the regional hegemon. Pakistan is not happy with that and when the Iranians start basically echoing what the Americans are asking the Pakistanis to do—primarily American demands that Pakistan cease any efforts in pursuit of nuclear weapons—when the Shah echoes that American line, from Zulfikar Bhutto’s point of view, then the Shah is no longer a partner as such, but somebody that's basically conveying Washington's concern to him.

So what does he do? Zulfikar Bhutto turns to the emerging oil-rich Gulf states—the Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia. The fact that he was Shia had nothing to do with it. Bhutto is focused about India: Who can come to my aid, who can foot the bill for my nuclear program that I need to build up because I know that India is just about to get their hands on a nuclear weapon and I cannot lose that military competition on that front? There is no mention from the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Qataris—all of these famously Sunni nations—oh, we don't like Bhutto because he's Shia, you know? There's no sign of that. This sectarianism is something that unfortunately becomes much bigger of a player in the foreign relations of everybody in the last 15, 20 years because of a lot of other factors.

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