China’s contribution for development of Pakistan’s infrastructure, construction of roads, dams and energy projects is a blessing for the country and Prime Minister Imran Khan fully realizes how important this long-term cooperation with Pakistan’s all-weather friend is.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project of Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) envisioned by President Xi Chinping and Gwadar Port is at the centre of the CPEC.
These remarks were given by Nawabzada Zaheer Barakzai Chairman and CEO of Mega Movers Pakistan during an exclusive interview with Pakistan Observer.
Nawabzada Zaheer is in Islamabad these days for talks with officials who are engaged in various phases of CPEC and supervising its smooth progress. Pakistan Observer caught up with Nawabzada during his busy schedule to get a firsthand account of the CPEC projects currently underway in Balochistan.
Overseeing an investment of US$83 million in logistics, transportation and warehousing, Nawabzada Zaheer is confident that once the port goes operational and containers no one will be able to hold Pakistan’s onward march towards progress, prosperity and peace.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said, in the beginning was skeptical about the CPEC but once he was given briefings, still he is taking briefings, he came to realize the real worth of the project and contribution of Chinese companies and the government in strengthening Pakistan’s economy.
About his enterprise, Nawabzada Zaheer said Mega Movers is among the top logistics providers of Pakistan with its head office in Karachi and International branch office in Kabul.
“Our company specializes in Logistics solutions, Inland Container Terminal, Terminal Management & Warehousing Facility and our latest initiative is the announcement of a modern and high tech Logistics Park Facility at Shahdadkot,” he said.
According to Mr Barakzai, the Shahdadkot Inland Container Terminal Pvt Ltd (SICT) is present at Gwadar Rato Dero M-8 Motorway and is one of the few privately held Container Terminal Facility on M-8 Motorway in collaboration with COPHC Gwadar.
To a question what prompted him to provide services in the area where concerns are raised by various sections about its security, etc, Nawabzada said he was the son of the soil. “I am born and brought up in those mountains and my tribe has a long history of service (political and social both) to local people.
How can I betray my people at a critical time in their history?” said the Nawabzada who has did his post-graduation (Marketing) from the UK.
Nawabzada Zaheer’s political credentials are quite impressive. He is the son of Nawab Ikram Barakzai, former Adviser to the then PM Nawaz Sharif, nephew of former Chief Minister of Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi. Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri is also one of his elders and he takes pride in his ancestral history.
To a question, Nawabzada said his enterprise had signed MoU with NLC and the fact it was providing service on the central route it was at a perfect juncture to move trucks and containers between Gwadar and Shahdadkot.
Since we provide end-to-end services, our clients feel safe and secure in doing business with us, said Nawabzada Zaheer. To a question about the facilities to the businessmen and investors along the 1,000 km road (M8) between Gwadar and Shahdadkot he said besides hotel, motel, warehousing facilities, his enterprise was also providing toeing facility for the transport that has never been heard before.
While talking about the government’s decision to make Shahdadkot Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Nawabzada Zaheer said it would boost foreign investment and generate investors’ interest in that area.
Nawabzada Zaheer has been working with Chinese investors for last many years and has even brought around 20 investors and companies to make investment evaluate prospects in that area. He has also visited China many times and studied its success from close quartes.
When asked why Pakistan’s exports to China are not in proportion to its imports from China, Zaheer said Pakistan has a tremendous export potential in agriculture, livestock, fruit and fisheries, “we only need to meet international standards. In seed utilization, textile and many other sectors Pakistan can improve its standards and then Chinese markets will be open to its products.”
With regard how he viewed business activities in coming days, he said once Shahdadkot gets status of off-dock yard and the Chinese companies and investors have the ease of doing business, it will flourish overnight and investment will pour in like raindrops.
He said Pakistan can be a perfect market of Chinese raw material as they import raw material from across the world. Nawabzada Zaheer said he rated Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Omar Ayub, Razzaq Dawood among the leading members of PM Imran Khan’s cabinet supervising progress on CPEC as they were working day and night to realize his dream of prosperity to the people of Pakistan.