QUETTA (APP) The Balochistan government has called for immediate transfer of about 600 acres of land in the possession of Pakistan Navy for development of a free trade zone as part of Gwadar Port Master Plan.
Official sources told this agency here Friday that the Chief Minister Balochistan, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Khan Raisani had approached the Prime Minister requesting him for the transfer of the said land to the Gwadar Port Authority in the larger national interest.
The Premier, it may be recalled, during his visit to Gwadar at the end of December last year to witness the NFC Award signing event had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Balochistan to resolve the issue of the subject land measuring 584 acres, which presently is under the possession of Pakistan Navy at East Bay of Gwadar.
According to details, the International Consultants of Gwadar Port while preparing the master plan of the port had reserved this part of the seafront for container terminals on the reclaimed land and therefore the area with Pakistan Coast Guards, Navy and adjoining private land were agreed to be provided to the concessionaire i.
e.
, the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) for development of the area as Free Trade Zone.
The Board of Revenue Balochistan had identified three different sites for allotment of alternate land to Pak Navy.
However, the Ministry of Defence had not accepted any of the three sites due to technical reasons, sources maintained.
Taking cognizance of the request of the Balochistan Government the Prime Minister constituted the committee comprising, Minister for Defence, Minister for Ports and Shipping, Minister of State for Industries and Production, Secretary Ministry of Defence, Secretary Ministry of Port and Shipping and Chairman, Gwadar Port Authority.
The said committee is to be chaired by the Chief Minister.
In a recent correspondence, it is learnt, the Ministry of Ports and Shipping had requested for convening a meeting of the committee in order to resolve the issue for establishment of Free Trade Zone and construction of a container terminal on the said land, which was essential for operation of Gwadar Port, and in pursuance of the requirement of the Concession Agreement signed with Port of Singapore Authority.
According to the sources the committee is likely to meet soon in Islamabad for settlement of the issue at the earliest.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 20-Mar-2010 here.