Important Ports of Pakistan
Situated on the bank of the River Indus, Karachi is the largest most important port of Pakistan. It is an international port which is used for trade not only by Pakistan but also by Afghanistan and Azad Kashmir. This port has the capacity of loading and unloading goods form about hundred ships. As many as 45 thousand ships go to and from this port annually. It has the annual capacity of unloading 12 million tons of cargo. A separate terminal is being built here for the traffic of large containers.
Port Muhammad Bin Qasim
It is situated fifty kilometers to the South-East of Karachi port. One of its branches has been linked to Pery through the railway line. Nine decks were built in the initial phase. Work is in progress for the further improvement of this port in Collaboration with the World Bank. Its oil terminal has the capacity of unloading eight million eight million tons of oil and cargo from ships whose weight is 75 thousand tons.
Gwadar is located on the south-western coast of Pakistan, on the Arabian Sea. It is strategically located between three increasingly important regions. The Gwadar port was built on a turnkey basis by China and signifies an enlarging Chinese footprint in a critically important area. Opened in spring 2007 by then Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, in the presence of Chinese Communications Minister Li Shenglin, Gwadar Port is now being expanded into a naval base with Chinese technical and financial assistance. Gwadar Port became operational in 2008, with the first step to dock bringing 52,000 tons of wheat form Canada.
Commercially, it is hoped that the Gwadar Port would generate billions of dollars in revenues and create at least two millions jobs. In 2007, the government of Pakistan handed over port operations to PSA Singapore for 25 years and gave it the status of a Tax Free Port for the following 40 years. The main investors in the project are Pakistani Government and People’s Republic of China. China’s plan to be engaged in many along oil and roads is evident.
Problem Facing the Marine Transport
Due to the lack of ships 75 per cent our import and export trade is carried out by other means of transport.
Trading with the help of foreign ships is dangerous for the country’s economic and political system, because in case of war these ships may refuse to bring the cargo and may even demand an increase in their fare. Such a situation may exert an undue pressure on the country’s economy.
For the last three decades, means of marine transport have been largely neglected, due to the poor condition of the country’s economy and unavailability of technology.
On account of its insufficient means of transport Pakistan is unable to increase its export. In this way, it remains deprived of a considerable amount of foreign exchange.