Nirupama Subramanian

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf formally inaugurated the Gwadar port on Tuesday.

The port is stated to have become operational immediately after, with the unloading of three cargo ships.

Describing the inauguration as a "historic" event, Gen. Musharraf announced that Balochistan would soon get a second modern port, and Pakistan its fourth, at Sonmiani, 100 km from Karachi. Work on it would start later this year.

Gwadar would become an industrial hub, a centre for container handling and an energy corridor, the President said.

He said his Government was committed to the development of Balochistan and the Government was spending Rs. 130 billion on development projects in the province.