Naval chief wants Gwadar deal cancelled
ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Noman Basheer said here on Thursday that the Gwadar Port was not serving the purpose for which it had been build and, therefore, an agreement with the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) for management of facilities and development of infrastructure should be cancelled.
“The agreement is one-sided and a lot of incentives have been given to the PSA,”
he said while talking to reporters after presiding over a book launching ceremony at the Bahria University.
He said the government should review the concessionary deal because the PSA had not been able to develop the port up to its potential.
Admiral Basheer said the PSA was to be given 2,500 acres of land under the deal, while the navy was being accused of illegally possessing 500-600 acres of it.
“The (ministry of) ports and shipping should stop finding excuses and levelling allegations and focus its attention on the national asset the potential of which is yet to be exploited.”
CHINESE SUBMARINES: The naval chief said talks were under way with China for six to eight submarines and the quality and cost were the basic factors behind the move
He said the talks were launched after a deal with Germany for four submarines could not be finalised because of exorbitant cost.
However, he said, both countries were still negotiating to resolve the issue.
Admiral Basheer said Pakistan badly needed submarines because four of the six submarines in the fleet had passed their life and the other two needed to be refurbished.
He said China was a time-tested friend of Pakistan and the only country in Asia which had developed expertise in building submarines.
The delivery schedule and cost also suited Pakistan’s needs.
“We can seek soft loan from China to fund the submarine project,” he said, adding that the time factor in acquisition of the submarines was of paramount importance.
The naval chief said eight used frigates would be acquired from the United States and they would have to be refurbished before their induction into the fleet.
He said Pakistan Navy had to build its capacity to tackle multiple challenges ranging from piracy and terrorism to drugs and human smuggling.