ISLAMABAD - There are signs on the ground that Pakistans plans to develop its first deep-sea Gwadar port as a major trans-shipment hub could be undermined in the near future largely for lack of government attention and capital investment promised by the port manager and operator the Singapore Port Authority (PSA). Background interviews and discussions by The Nation have revealed that PSA, which had secured an unprecedented and lucrative forty years concession and took over the ports management and operations in December 2008, has no short-term investment plans as it had earlier committed, except the $35 million it had already spent to install gantry cranes. However, PSA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Khurrum Abbas, dismissing this perception, was of the view that PSA investment plans were intact and would be implemented once the federal government developed hinterland rail and road linkages. Moreover, Abbas pointed out that Pakistani authorities had yet to fulfil its commitment to hand over some essential equipment and piece of land which the Pakistan Navy was interested to keep in order to set up a commercial shipbuilding and a Dry Dock unit. He said PSA had so far handled 1.3 million tones of import shipments since the launching of the ports operations. Shipping circles had a different story to tell saying the clash of interest between the Federal and State Ministers of Ports and Shipping, Babar Khan Ghouri and Sardar Nabil Gabol, was actually bone of contention hampering the development of the port. They said both Federal Minister Babar Khan Ghouri and Nabil Gobal were actively at work with the former trying to protect PSA as he had facilitated it in awarding the concession while Gabol was seeking its cancellation. However, both the ministers were not available for their comments despite repeated efforts to approach them. Sources further said that Gwadar port with three operational berths and developed by the Chinese financial and technical assistance was in shambles as there is no government road map to develop and tape its real potential as transshipment hub to cater for the trade needs of Central Asian Republics as well as landlocked Afghanistan. Despite all odds and difficulties we want the port operations continuing its operations without any break or delay, Chairman Gwadar Port Authority Aslam Hayat told TheNation. He was approached to seek his comments about the fate of inquiry ordered by the Ministry of Ports and Shipping into major ship collision incident which led to cause structural damage to one of the three operational berths of the port on August 17. Insiders said that a Panama flagged merchant vessel Shen Ming Hong 7 with IMO No.8117122 hit and damaged Roll-On Roll Off (Ro RO) jetty on August 17 at 1930 Hours and port authority had asked Director General Ports and Shipping on August 21 to order probe into the incident. The matter is still being investigated by the Merchant Mercantile department (MMD), he said, adding action will be taken against those responsible for the losses. The Pakistan Navy had also launched its own probe into the incident but fate of that investigation was still not known.