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Archive for May, 2008

Exploiting our ‘Gold Coast’

For a country with two seaports serving a population of 150 million (not counting the hundreds of millions in countries beyond) it is vitally important to have alternatives. Population congestion and possible economic factors because of the emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land dimension along a separate south-north axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged. A bird’s eye view of Pakistan’s coast from Karachi westwards gives us in succession at least three possible ports capable of processing ocean-going vessels. While retaining Ormara for purely military use, what is required now is a sustained effort not only at Gwadar but also Pasni. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty spaces hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles, “Economic Exploitation of the Coastal Areas-1 and 2” (Jan 16 and Jan 23, 1990) and “Pakistan’s Gold Coast”(April 10, 1999) are now being implemented, better late than never.

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