Byline: Arooj Asghar
Pakistan is blessed with one of the best sea routes of the world. Pakistan's coastline is about 990 km long, bifurcated in two parts, Sindh Coast (270 km) and Makran Coast (720 km). Pakistan is undoubtedly one of the most strategically significant countries in the region and the world. On one side it is next to India, on other it is sharing border with China, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia countries (which is Russia) and its sea side is touching Middle East, where US has largest presence. All the world's significant events are currently happening in the countries around Pakistan, in fact most of the major events of the world in last 50 years and that is shaping the world today are happening in this region. The importance of seaports and shipping provide cheap and fast transport of the goods produced and exchanged, and seaports to facilitate that transfer of the goods from sea to land.
Geographically, the coast of Pakistan can be divided into five parts, starting from the Iran border at Gwadar Bay in the West up to the Indian border at Sir Creek in the East: i) Gwadar Coast ii) Lasbela Coast iii) Karachi Coast iv) Thatta Coast from Korangi Creek up to Indian border at Sir Creek and v) Rann of Kutch from Badin to Tharparkar Districts.
Seaports are such an integral part of international seaborne trade that, any mention of ports brings the images of wealth, high earning jobs and economic development of the regions where they are situated. The reality is, some ports such as those of Rotterdam (Netherlands), Singapore, Hong Kong are more successful in this respect than the ports of Mombasa (Kenya) and Dares Salaam (Tanzania). This clearly shows a correlation between country's economic development and the role of ports in that economic development. Moreover, if we see the development of the countries having successful ports, it further reinforces the importance of development of ports in Pakistan. Trade between nations has always made a significant contribution in terms of increasing wealth among the countries. Today, over 80 percent of all trade is seaborne.
Pakistan is blessed with a long strip of sea shore whereas Pakistan can also provide land route to some of the big countries like Afghanistan, Extreme Western states of India, Central Asian Countries and south region of China. It is a fact that ports regions are always at an advantage when compared with those regions which are not situated by the sea or on rivers and...