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Gwadar Seaport: A Beacon of Peace and Prosperity

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Gwadar Seaport: A Beacon of Peace and Prosperity

The seaport of Gwadar, Pakistan is set to host over 40-45 countries under the flagship of AMAN-2023, an initiative that aims to facilitate peace, prosperity, and production in the region. The Pakistan Navy will lead the way in developing a blue economy in the deep waters by securing the freedom of the seas.

AMAN naval exercises, which have been held since 2007, have greatly enhanced capacity building systems in the region, addressing issues such as piracy, smuggling, stowage, illegal immigration, safeguarding ships in conflicted waters, terrorist attacks, and environmental disasters. Pakistan’s interest in safer and crime-free seas is based on three key realities: an extraordinary dependence on the seas for trade, the need to make the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project operational, and the country’s strategic location astride the global energy highway.

The Pakistan Navy (PN) is responsible for defending CPEC, ensuring smooth Sea Lanes of Communication, and protecting Pakistan’s coast areas and ports, including Karachi, Bin-Qasim, Ormara, and Gwadar. The Task Force-88 (TF-88) is now responsible for the seaward security of Gwadar Port and protection of Associated Sea Lanes against both conventional and non-traditional threats. The TF-88 comprises 400 marines who specialize in defending marine assets and projects against threats from sub-surface, surface, and aerial attacks.

Recently, the Gwadar port has begun receiving government imports of bulk cargo, with three vessels carrying 90,000 metric tons of urea arriving at the port and achieving the fastest discharge rate. The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has decided to handle the import of urea and wheat through the strategically significant port, which will ease congestion at other ports and help generate economic activity and open employment opportunities.

Gwadar Port offers substantial economic benefits to importers in terms of efficient operations, advanced cargo handling, vast storage facilities, extensive ancillary facilities, and faster turnaround. Its unique geographical position makes it a fast-economical link between some of the land-locked Central Asian States. The port is also formally handling and processing 45,000 metric tons of wheat imports, with the official agreement between the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) and Gwadar International Terminal Limited (GITL) having been signed.

In conclusion, AMAN 2023 stands for greater maritime connectivity in the region and beyond. According to the OECD (2022), the maritime industry has a global value of $1.5 trillion annually, which is expected to increase to $3 trillion by 2030. The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has become the most significant international marine route, linking Europe and the Americas to Asia and Africa, and Gwadar’s role as a key player in this region cannot be overstated.

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