Doha 19 August 2017 Irfan Bukhari | The Peninsula
After launching weekly direct shipping service between Hamad Port and Karachi Port, Qatar and Pakistan are exploring new avenues of maritime cooperation.
Vice-Admiral (Retd) Azhar Shamim Anwar, Managing Director of Bahria Foundation Pakistan, has said that Qatar and Pakistan are exploring maritime cooperation and in future ‘fully operational Gwadar Port will take them to new heights’.
“Bahria Foundation also runs a transshipment hub in Karachi and through our transshipment services, we can facilitate Qatar in its trade arrangements with China,” Anwar said while talking to The Peninsula during his visit to Qatar last week.
Terming his visit ‘very useful’ in which he had a meeting with CEO of Mwani, Captain Abdulla Al Khanji, on August 13, Anwar said that Bahria Foundation’s transshipment hub and other ports of Pakistan are in a position to facilitate Qatar and help Hamad Port become a regional trade hub.
After Karachi Port, he said, Gwadar Port would be in a position to serve the needs of the whole Middle East, China and Central Asian countries.
“To increase maritime cooperation is the desire from both sides; Qatar and Pakistan. Now Karachi Port and in future Gwadar Port can serve as transshipment centres for Hamad Port.”
Anwar said that the development work at Gwadar Port was underway at full speed. “Gwadar being the natural deep seaport and due to its geographical location can handle mother ships. After offloading mother ships at Gwadar Port, goods can be transported to other destinations through cargo ships,” he said, adding that internal communication system was being installed at Gwadar Port.
Bahria Foundation MD said that follow-up visits and negotiations between two countries would continue to fine tune details of cooperation. He said that the Hamad Port was an ‘excellent custom-made port’ with all modern and sophisticated facilities.
Azhar Shamim Anwar said that the General Manager of Bahria Maritime Services Division was accompanying him in visit to Qatar. Established in 1995, Bahria Maritime Services Division is engaged in wide range of maritime business activities.
The Bahria Maritime Services Division has provided Tugging and Harbour Pilot Services in ports of Pakistan and also offers services of operations of floating craft. Besides this, Maritime Division offers services in the field of marine survey, dredging, and shipping. The Division possesses sufficient experience to undertake the maintenance and repair work of floating craft. The division is also providing technical and skilled manpower in maritime sector.
Hamad Port recently launched its weekly direct shipping service with Karachi Port by receiving the first container ship, Libra, carrying a total load of 1,200 TEUs on August 13.