Fort Qasim [Manora Fort] / PNS Qasim / Port Qasim
Fort Qasim, also known as Manora Fort, which has been the station for many SSG Commandoes of Pakistan Navy. Moreover, the given establishment has played a very important role in both 1965 and 1971 wars. The Qasim Fort is a small fort constructed in the eighteenth century by the Talpur dynasty when the port of Karachi traded with Oman and Bahrain. It was built in 1814 to commemorate the Victory of the British over Nepolean Bonapart in the war of Waterloo. The Fort facing Bay of Bengal, is an seven storeyed victory tower and has steps in a circular way which look enchanting and one can have a panoramic views of the green, surroundings and the sea from this 30 meter high tower and it is a protected monument under Archaeological department.
The fort was stormed by the British in 1839 because of the strategic location of Karachi. Although the fort is now buried beneath the naval base, the lighthouse is a visible reminder of the British presence having been built in 1889 to assist vessels approaching Karachi harbour. History of modern day Karachi begins from this fort as on February 1st, 1839, a British ship, the Wellesley, anchored off the island of Manora. By 3rd February, the fort at Kolachi had surrendered without firing a single shot and this small fishing village crossed a turning point in its life.
In 1990 Marine Battalion of Pakistan Navy was formed and PNS QASIM, re-commissioned at Manora, was established as the HQ for marines. Thus PNS Qasim remains the depot or the logistic base for the Marines which is responsible for general administration and logistics requirements. PNS Qasim is a versatile unit having large ambit of roles/tasks, which encompasses acting as logistics' base for Marines, operational readiness of all segments of Marines, defence of designated operational area in Creek, provision of security coverage to VA/VPs of PN and sensitive projects of national importance, aid to civil power and rendering of assistance in case of natural calamities, provision of Air Defence cover to designated PN units and Karachi complex through deployment of Mistral Missiles and Air Defence Balloons, responsible for conduct of basic and mid career course for Marines, maintain liaison with other PN and Army Institutions for coordinating various courses of instructions, supervision/career management of Marines and handling ceremonial duties.
In December 2007 the Government of Pakistan approved a plan to establish two new large sized shipyards at Gwadar in Balochistan Province ("Gwadar Shipyard") and Port Qasim near Karachi in Sindh Province ("Qasim Shipyard") on a fast track basis. The Qasim Shipyard is planned to be developed adjacent to Korangi Fish Harbour (Port Qasim Area), on an area of 500 acres (2 Sq. kilometers approx) with at least two dry docks of 600,000 DWT. Main function of this shipyard will be building of large ships up to VLCC/ULCC size and construction of Offshore / Onshore Oil Rigs. It will also have ship repair facilities. The Shipyards are to be developed with minimum financial support from the Government of Pakistan. The projects are conceived in a manner, whereby the private sector will be responsible for designing, financing, building, operating and maintaining the Shipyards.
On 01 October 2008 Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Minister for Ports and Shipping Qamar Zaman Kaira to finalise the sites for building shipyards at Karachi and Gwadar. Gilani expressed the government's resolve for the development of shipbuilding industry in the country, saying that setting up of two shipyards in Karachi and Gwadar would go a long way in catering to domestic as well as international needs. He stressed the need for making Pakistan a leading shipbuilding country of the region, thus contributing towards economic development and poverty alleviation. Two world class shipyards on joint venture basis were proposed to be built at Gwadar and Port Qasim. These projects would attract major investment from foreign sources.
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