Friday Apr 02, 2021
In a bid to bring the coastal town into the limelight and catapult its “star image” on the national and international spectrum, Gwadar has been declared the new capital of South Balochistan.
Gwadar Port Authority's (GPA) Chairman Naseer Khan Kashani revealed to this author that the port has been officially granted the status of the capital of South Balochistan by the provincial government.
“We have received a letter from the Government of Balochistan in this regard,” he added.
Gwadar has been in the spotlight ever since the government, in collaboration with China, announced plans to develop Gwadar Port as a flagship project of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The Balochistan government has made preparations to set up a camp office within the premises of the GPA, where officials and staffers will be extending their services. Administrative work has started and has been running for the last seven months, Kashani added.
“Funds have also been allocated to furnish the civil secretariat of Gwadar in terms of its new status as the capital of South Balochistan. A team of Services and General Admission Department has launched the recruitment process too,” a Gawadar Development Authority (GDA) official said.
Gwadar Development Authority (GPA) official Nadir Baloch said that the new initiative would have a positive impact on the image of Gwadar rising as an ideal destination, especially for those who visualise the port city's futuristic development. It will help charge up the Gwadar Master Plan, he added.
It is pertinent to mention that on February 23, 2017, the former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri had announced that Gwadar would be the winter capital of the province and had directed all provincial departments to set up their offices in the port city.
Presiding over the 16th meeting of the Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) governing body, he had said the decision had been taken given the importance of Gwadar as a future economic hub of the country.
The move, however, could not be materialised at that time.
Prior to that, on October 26, 2011, another former chief minister of Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani had attempted to make Gwadar the winter capital of Balochistan.
Most recently, a proposal to make the coastal town the winter capital of the province was put forward by the ex-deputy speaker of the Balochistan Assembly, Aslam Bhootani in 2019.