Gwadar port is a hot cake these days in international politics. You must have received the whiff at least if not the cake itself. The port holds controversy as well as agreement. It is agreeable for states that are going to benefit from it while the controversy is roused by states whose interests are jeopardized with the development of the Gwadar port.
What is Gwadar Port?
For those who are unaware or less up-to-date about it, Gwadar is a warm water, deep sea port located in Balochistan, the southern province of Pakistan. It is positioned at the cross junction of oil trade routes and international sea shipping.
The port would connect three important regions, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. The world has recognized its importance and countries like Russia, Iran and United Kingdom have also shown interest in becoming a part of this mega project.
However, talking about its history, the port has faced a struggle over its control. Even, after being acquired by Pakistan, it remained low-key until it went into the limelight after its development was handed over to a Chinese company.
Gwadar Port and the Economy
Gwadar port not only imparts influence on Pakistan but also touches rest of the world either by its strategic importance, economic benefits or its potential to become a threat for some states.
Being one of the most advanced port in the region, it routes for international commerce to the world especially the Central Asian countries and Afghanistan both being landlocked countries.
Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, it would offer an economic oil route as well, thus it is going to be the center of attention of energy starving countries including India.
India can also benefit from this port as it would be easier for India to trade with Afghanistan, with which it always seeks to, and the Central Asian countries which are the source of fulfilling India’s growing need for energy.
The port would also be a business hub since it’s located in proximity to landlocked but resource-rich Central Asian countries and the Middle Eastern market. Companies from across the globe would want to set up their businesses here to take advantages of the strategic location of the port as well as cheap labor.
India has shown persistent resentment over the development of Gwadar port in collaboration with China.
India alleges that the Chinese motive behind the erection of this port is to pursue its long-held aspiration i.e. to establish the ‘Strings of Pearls’ and Chinese deployment on the port is not going to be economic, but rather a military deployment.
Now with the news that the warships of the People’s Liberation Army are going to be deployed, two of the vessels have been brought in the region already, it seems to be the final nail to the coffin in regards to India’s concerns. These warships are deployed to provide security to the port, but critics in Pakistan are also showing concerns over this deployment. Furthermore, for India, the fears have come true as it now has China’s navy in its backyard.
Moreover, through this port, China would be able to monitor India’s moves. It is pertinent to mention here that India was the ‘lone king’ of the Indian Ocean but now with China’s presence, it is going to lose its status and would have China much closer than they wanted to.
To contain China’s expansion and maintain its status, India intends to collaborate with Iran to build the Chabahar port.
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