Home World Pakistan & China are building an SEZ in PoK’s Gilgit-Baltistan, satellite images...

Pakistan & China are building an SEZ in PoK’s Gilgit-Baltistan, satellite images show

The Moqpondass SEZ in Gilgit is part of the CPEC, and began construction after Imran Khan’s visit to China in April 2019.

Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd)
Moqpondass SEZ: an overview | Source: Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.) | ThePrint
Moqpondass SEZ: an overview | Source: Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.) | ThePrint

New Delhi: After ignoring India’s objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Islamabad and Beijing are now in the process of setting up a Special Economic Zone in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan has long facilitated China’s forays into the Jammu and Kashmir region, ceding vast tracts of land in 1963 in the Shaksgam Valley, north of the Siachen Glacier. The Chinese built a road and military posts there in 2017.

ThePrint takes an exclusive look at the latest satellite imagery of the new SEZ, called Moqpondass.

Source: Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.)

Feasibility, approval and agreements

Feasibility studies were carried out in May and June 2016. Satellite images of the time indicate vehicular movements and a helipad, possibly constructed to ferry VIPs.

Source: Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.)

In May 2019, Pakistan’s Board of Investments (BoI) approved the fast-track development of nine SEZs, including Moqpondass, about 40 km from the city of Gilgit.

The agreement was reportedly signed between China and Pakistan during PM Imran Khan’s visit to Beijing in April 2019.

Construction

Construction began immediately after the signing of the agreement. Although the Pakistani government’s CPEC website says the area allotted is 250 acres, satellite imagery shows that the Chinese are utilising an area more than 750 acres.

The area occupied by the construction company consists of a storage area, a cement concrete production and mixer plant, and two crusher plants.

Source: Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.)

The construction is in the early stages. Staff barracks are in typical hollow square shape. There are separate barracks, probably for Pakistani staff.

Source: Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.)

The storage area is littered with steel reinforcing bars (rebars), and huge earth-moving equipment and vehicles.

The crushers and cement concrete plants are already operational and functioning efficiently.

Source: Col. Vinayak Bhat (retd.)

A small masjid has been constructed, possibly for the use of Pakistani staff.


Also read: Like China, Pakistan is using Islamabad & Karachi’s civil airports for military purposes


 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. In addition,in the COVID and POST-COVID world,when the USA and the EU govtt and private entities,are looking to relocate their supply chains,to India and South East Asia, and insulating themselves from supply chain and logistics shocks,in each host nation – what value can the Indian SEZs provide – if the basic information sought , by the applicant, is not available with the PIO ?

    The Indian SEZ Policy is doomed ! dindooohindoo

    • How can an investor invest in a SEZ in India,unless it is benchmarked with the world and with Indian SEZs, on operations, costs,efficiencies,tax.FDI/FX,Power Cost,Infra facilities,Port Faciliies,DTA Risk,Political Risk,Geo Political Risk (as in Chabhar) etc
    • How can a SEZ be sure that, it is getting the maximum profits,lowest costs, nil fraud and providing the maximum efficiencies to its units – unless there is a comprehensive audit of all aspecrs of operations,as stated in the RTI Application requirement ?
    • If a Pharma exporter in the PRC wishes to relocate to an Indian SEZ – he would want to know the best SEZ for the same and the reasons for the same.
    o Besides benchmarking,if the SEZ or the GOI does not have this basic information – in terms of broad SEZ financials – why will the investors come to India to invest in SEZs
    • If the SEZ has no records of the financial performance of the SEZ units – how will the SEZ and the developers etc., innovate to improve the performance,efficiency and profitability of the SEZs
    • If the SEZ or the GOI has no data on Raids or Criminal Prosecutions of Units – how will an overseas investor be convinced, that he is entering into a safe regulatory environ.In addition,how will the public be satisfied,that sufficient supervision,regulation and control is being exercised,on the SEZ units,by the State ?
    • If the SEZ of the GOI, is not aware of the profits and financials of the developers of the SEZs,and if the developers are making losses – it would mean that the State has no clue of the nature,extent and reasons of the said losses.
    o In such an event – HOW WILL THE GOI ATTRACT FOREIGN DEVELOPERS AND FOREIGN INVESTORS, IN SEZs AND SEZ UNITS ?
    o IF A DEVELOPER IS MAKING LOSSES OR NOT MAKING A FAIR PROFIT – WHAT SERVICE WILL BE PROVIDED TO THE SEZ UNITS – and will an entity invest in any UNIT, in such a SEZ ?
    • Why are there non-Operational SEZ units in a SEZ ? Why does the SEZ not have this data ?
    o How can the SEZ or the State be sure that, it has the right policies and rules and incentives, unless it had the said data, and the reasons for the said units.
    o A Non-Operational unit is a failure of GOI Policy,loss of national resources,loss of bank funds,defaults in EU and violation of indemnities and guarantees by the SEZ units
    • Why does the SEZ or the GOI,not have the data w.r.t SEZ units in terms of service supporters,such as Hotels,Banks and other facilities in a SEZ ?
    o Why will any overseas investor,invest in such facilities – unless he has that data ?
    o If the GOI does not have the said data – how can the GOI be sure,that their policies and incentives are working,as also, to innovate to improve the peformance of these service supporters ?
    • How will India attract investments and COVID SUPPLY CHAIN RELOCATIONS INTO ASIA AND INDIA – if the PRC/Nippon/ Korea/Malaysia/GCC or other EU nations,invest in SEZs as developers in LDCs – which also provide Duty Free Access into USA/EU, from those LDC-SEZs,which will be staffed and operated across the SEZ value chain by Chinese//Nipponese/Koreans/ Malaysians ?
    o Take the example of CPEC by PRC in Pakistan,an LDC,as an example.
    o Why will any supply chain relocate to India, in an export led venture, if such BASIC DATA IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.
    o NO ONE HAS THE TIME OR MONEY TO WASTE ON CONSULTANTS , OR VISITS TO HOST NATIONS, TO ACCESS THE ABOVESAID INFORMATION.
    o There is not a single link on the SEZ portal,as to why an investment in a SECTOR ,IN A UNIT IN THEIR SEZ , FOR EXPORT TO A PARTICULAR GEOOGRAPHY , IS THE BEST ,IF INVESTED AND EXPORTED, VIA THE SEZ – ALONGWITH SUCCESS STORIES.
    o WHO WILL RISK AN INVESTMENT,IN SUCH A PROJECT OR A NATION
    • IF MAHARASHTRA HAS 10 MILLION CASES,OF COVID BY FEBRUARY 2021 – WHAT IS THE PLAN OF THE GOI FOR THE LOGISTICS RISK FOR SUPPLIES FROM DTA TO THE SEEPZ (IGNORING SUPPLIES FROM SEEPZ TO THE DTA) ?
    • ASSUMING A COAL POWER PLANT FEEDING THE SEEPZ – IF IMPORTED COAL IS STOPPED POST COVID FROM LOAD PORTS – WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE TO SUPPLY POWER TO THE PORT AND THE SEZs.
    o If such Risk assessment is STILL not on the SEZ portals – why will any one invest in any Indian SEZ ?
    • IF THE SEZ DOES NOT HAVE THE ABOVESAID INFORMATION,DOES NO ANALYSIS TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE SEZ UNITS,DEVELOPERS,SERVICE SUPPORTERS,INFRA FACILITATORS ETC., AND IS ALSO, NOT INVESTED, IN THE VALUE CHAIN – THEN WHAT IS THE STAKE OF THE GOI OR SEZ , IN THE SAID FACILITY,AND WHY WILL ANY FOREIGN ENTITY, INVEST IN SUCH A SEZ ,AND WHY WILL ANY SUPPLY CHAIN, RELOCATE TO SUCH AN SEZ ?

  2. That’s why u indians can’t leave kashmir alone. If kashmir is part of India why are your military and people treating the kashmir is so badly. If you really love the country and want it to be part of yours. The British should have separated it. Because you accepted all the bits that the british separated. So accept this aswell. Let kashmir be free and independent.

  3. Building on Indias land , land title deed of entire J&K including pok, Gilgit Balitsthan held by India=J&Ks accession document by the king. (Bi-lateral matter) .
    UT of Jammu, Kashmir valley and UT of Ladakh =(Innternal matter)..
    Free Country of Baluchistan should include a land corridor for Afganistan to the sea, so it will not need pakistan. Chinas port in Gwardar in free Baluchistan could host a US base kicking out Chinese and secure freedom of Baluchistan.

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