After the collapse of Alexander’s empire, the area was ruled by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander’s generals, but the region came under local rule about 303 BC. For several centuries, the region remained at the sidelines of history, until the Muslim Arab army under Muhammad bin Qasim captured the town of Gwadar in 711 AD. In the following centuries the area was contested between various Iranian and Indian based powers including the Mughals and the Safavids.
Portuguese explorers captured and sacked Gwadar in the late 16th century. This was followed by centuries of local rule by various Baloch tribes. In 1783 the Khan of Kalat granted Gwadar to Taimur Sultan, the defeated ruler of Muscat. When Taimur recaptured Muscat, he continued to rule Gwadar by appointing a wali or governor. The new governor was ordered to conquer the nearby coastal town of Chah Bahar (in modern Iran). Gwadar fort was built during Omani rule, whilst telegraph lines were extended into Gwadar courtesy of the British. In 1958, the Gwadar enclave was transferred to Pakistan and was made part of Balochistan province.
In 2002, Gwadar Port project to build a large deep-sea port was begun in the town. The government of Pakistan intends to develop the entire area in order to reduce reliance on Karachi for shipping. In addition to expanding port facilities, the project aims to build industrial complexes in the area, and to connect the town via a modern highway to the rest of Pakistan. The People’s Republic of China is providing help on the project, and the first phase was completed by the end of 2004.
China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) is a mega project of USD 45+ billion taking the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China to new heights. The project is the beginning of a journey of prosperity of Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang. The economic corridor is about 3000 Kilometres long consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect China’s Xinjiang province to rest of the world through Pakistan’s Gwadar port.