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The potential of under developed sea ports of Pakistan

Pakistan’s 1,200 kilometers lengthy coastline with the Arabian Sea is a god gifted area with natural harbors. It is a mid-sea section which joins the strategic oil line of the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean. Pakistan has three big sea ports named as Karachi Port, Muhammad Bin Qasim Port and Gwadar Port. Port of Muhammad Bin Qasim is the oldest port while the Karachi Port is the busiest one. The Port of Gwadar is newly developed deep-sea port and one of the deepest ports across the globe with a depth that can handle 16-meter deep cargo ship. There are several ports which are under consideration and the feasibility for the Keti Bunder as a Fish Harbor is currently under way. There are different ports that are being developed into world class shopping centers beside the ports of Karachi, Bin Qasim and Gwadar.

Port Ormara

Ormara is a small port on the Makran coastline alongside the Arabian Sea in Balochistan. It is situated around 450 kilometers west of Karachi, and east of coastal village Pasni, which is also a port. The Jinnah naval base of Pakistan Navy is also located at Ormara. Due to the naval base in the area, the Ormara has a small airport that can handle smaller planes. Ormara is an ancient coastal city. It is named after ‘Ormoz’, one of the generals of Alexander the Great who died here. Before freedom of Pakistan in 1947, it used to be part of the state of Las Bela and later on it grew to be a part of Makran Division. Most residents make their livelihood from fishing. Ormara has seen extensive development in previous few years mainly with the foundation of the Makran coastal freeway which has now linked it to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Port Pasni

Pasni is a medium-sized city and a fishing port alongside the Makran coastline in Balochistan. It is located about 300 km from Karachi. The government has now decided to develop the port of Pasni as a full-time commercial port for Pakistan along with CPEC to help the cargo activities in the area. The town hosts a latest fish harbor with fishing being the essential occupation of town dwellers. The city of Pasni hosts a joint user airfield which is shared by Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Pakistan Navy and civil aviation. PAF, as well as PN-Aviation operational amenities, are housed locally. Daily cargo flights carry seafood and air cargo to Karachi. In 2008, the government accepted the development of Shadi Kaur storage dam near Pasni, which is expected to alleviate the power deficiency of the vicinity. Administratively, Pasni sub-division of Gwadar district headquarters the Pasni city and the subdivision involve Pasni and Ormara counties as well as Astola Island which lies 40km east of c in the Arabian Sea.


Jiwani Port

Although Jiwani is still a small fishing harbor but it holds a strong strategic significance within the vicinity, located instantly adjoining the delivery lanes to and from the Persian Gulf at the moment but now Gwadar Port will cover all those factors. This is one of the principal factors that the town hosts a small naval base and an airport with a 5,500-foot runway. Jiwani is located on the Jap end of Gwadar Bay, which is shared between Iran and Pakistan. The field across the bay involves a main mangrove wooded area extending throughout the worldwide border, and is a most important habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna where WWF-Pakistan has established the Jiwani Conservation and Information Centre (JCIC). The aim is to make a contribution in the direction of the conservation of biodiversity within the discipline by way of knowledge dissemination.

The extension of the Makran Coastal highway from Gwadar to Jiwani is a good development and this highway has made easy connections with other trading cities. Jiwani has a small airport located 10 km far from the city centre. It’s not one of the leading airports of Pakistan, however, has weekly flights connecting it with Gwadar, Pasni, and Karachi. Jiwani has also been used during World War II as the allied base.

The writer is a Karachi based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan

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