Here is a great map of Pakistan's railways
http://www.pamirtours.pk/maps/PAKISTAN% ... %20MAP.jpg
There appears to be no railway track north of Islamabd and no track to Gwadar. How is China going to have a rail link to Gwadar? Djinns?
The distance from Islamabad to the Kunjerab pass is 900 km and from Karachi to Gwadar is 700 km. Blothel will have to lay 1600 km of tracks in Pakistan.
Apparently the sea rote to Shanghai is 16,000 km but the land route to the Chinee border from Gwadar is 2500 plus km. Of that only 1100 km Islamabad to Karachi has tracks.
I believe that China cannot say "I'll take this rather than that". They have to try and make the land route as well. But Pakhanastan was a poor bet. The land route via the Khunjerab can get blocked in winter and summer (avalanches/landslides). The road route to the border from Izlammerbahd is a 48 hour journey. To Karachi 12 hours and another 12 to Gwadar. There is no railway line to Gwadar and Pakistan railways are shrinking partly as a result of Chinese locomotives. About 5-7 days journey into a Chinese city
It is about 10,000 km from Straits of Hormuz to Shanghai. That is a 2 week sail for a ship sailing at 15 kts. But the volume is higher. Actually we tend to think only of oil to China. Oil to China can go via a pipeline. But China's economy is exports. Those exports need to be shipped out as well so a land route via Pakhanastan would be good - but looks like a distant dream.
Here is a collection of news about Gwadar
Balochistan is very delicately poised; he will need to go even further than the promised levels of autonomy to appease the Baloch.
The province not only provides the country with the most efficient natural gas, it also is the richest in terms of mineral resources. What is more, it has the strategic port of Gwadar, the significance of which has been explained in a previous article. (Shaukat Qadir, “Strategic significance of Balochistan”, August 16)
If Pakistan is to tap into potential commerce flowing from Central Asia, whether through Afghanistan or China, Gwadar is the key to our economic future. A promising start on this front could be the shifting of Gwadar Development Authority from Karachi to Gwadar, and encouraging the GDA to employ as many Baloch citizens as possible.
http://www.asiaone.com/News/The%2BBusin ... 39356.html
'The expectation was that (PSA) would bring in trade, but it has not done so and turned the whole port - built with Pakistani and Chinese investments - into a white elephant,' said Rasul Bakhsh Rais, professor of political science at the Lahore University of Management Science.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... re/7385/2/
Nisar Baluch, the general secretary of a Baluch nationalist organization, was the group’s leader. He had unruly black hair and a thick moustache. His fingertips tapped on the table as he lectured me, staring into the middle distance. “The Pakistani army is the biggest land grabber,” he began. “It is giving away the coast of Baluchistan for peanuts to the Punjabis.
“The Punjabi army wears uniforms, but the soldiers are actually terrorists,” he continued. “In Gwadar, the army is operating as a mafia, falsifying land records. They say we don’t have papers to prove our ownership of the land, though we’ve been there for centuries.” Baluch told me he was not against development, and supported dialogue with the Pakistani authorities. “But when we talk about our rights, they accuse us of being Taliban.
“We’re an oppressed nation,” he said, never raising his voice, even as his finger-tapping grew in intensity. “There is no other choice but to fight. The whole world is now talking about Gwadar. The entire political establishment in this country is involved in the crime being perpetrated there.”
Then came this warning:
“No matter how hard they try to turn Gwadar into Dubai, it won’t work. There will be resistance. The pipelines going to China will not be safe. They will have to cross through Baluch territory, and if our rights are violated, nothing will be secure.” In 2004, in fact, a car bomb killed three Chinese engineers on their way to Gwadar. Other nationalists have said that Baluch insurgents would eventually kill more Chinese workers, bringing further uncertainty to Gwadar.