Reportedly, 2400 square miles of the Gwadar area came under the domain of the Sultan of Oman in 1947. It was administered by Great Britain, and fifty percent of the revenue from the area went to the Sultan. Eventually, an American company identified Gwadar’s potential as a deep port. Through this port, 25 varieties of fish could be exported in significant quantities every year.
The Shah of Iran tried to acquire this land through the US’ influence in Britain, but in 1956, Pakistani Foreign Minister Malik Feroze Khan Noon decided that this land had to be acquired at all costs.
This role was assigned to Madam Viqar-un-Nisa Noon, who played a pivotal role in convincing the British government to hand over Gwadar to Pakistan. After two whole years of hectic efforts, the Sultan of Oman agreed to hand Gwadar over to Pakistan for $3 million, which was mostly paid by Prince Karim Agha Khan. This is how Pakistan got Gwadar on September 8, 1958.In 2002, General Pervez Musharraf planned the construction of the Gwadar deep port, which ultimately developed into the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The concerned authorities must check the official records and honour those who were able to secure Gwadar for Pakistan in 1958, and honour them. The media should also play its role in this regard.
M AKRAM NIAZI
Published in Daily Times, May 23rd 2018.