According to recent developments in Balochistan, the Gwadar Port has now initiated its first-ever direct export chain to China. The shipment is expected to reach the country in 30 days and comes attached with high hopes of giving exports the kind of boost that is needed. Cutting out additional actors in trade always entails high profits, high remittances and complete control over the commodity. At the same time however, we are falling behind in a multitude of other ways; most locals in Gwadar have been left deprived, neglected and completely isolated as their home is raided and exploited by foreigners, according to them. If we can make so much progress on one front, the government must give due attention to the needs of the locals so that all forms of resistance are laid to rest.
According to recent reports, the Gwadar Port sent five containers carrying raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry to China on May 24. The move was hailed as a success not only for the purposes of marking developmental progress in Gwadar but also to attract potential markets as well. A direct chain of exports to the buyer ensures that profit is maximized, monopoly over the exporting product is maintained and that market penetration can be controlled. It also gives businesses a chance to respond to international market trends in a timely manner. So long as we are able to continue establishing these routes, Pakistan’s economy will improve. We need to redirect our focus upon maximising outputs instead of inputs.
While such work carries on, one aspect that has been completely neglected relates to the locals. Overtime, discontent with the project continued to grow, to the point that the people of Gwadar have now taken an active part in resistance movements that criticise the government for its actions. Most people have no access to facilities, lack food, clean drinking water, employment opportunities and have to suffer through countless restrictions because of routine CPEC work. It is essential that we persist with developing the area all the while keeping the interests of the locals at heart. If the government does not look out for them, no one will and they will continue to suffer through neglect. We need a better support system, and fast.