Regional importance of Gwadar port

Geographical environment has great significance, and is considered as one of the vital factors impacting the progress of human beings. The pragmatic components including geography have played important role in human development. History is witness that the civilizations have always progressed along the waters – like Mesopotamia, The Indus valley, Nubia and so on- because it has been used as a very tool for trading since the inception of the civilizations. Having the cheapest and easiest way, as per as modern time is concerned, trade has increased gravity of the waters – owing to the cheapest way for imports and exports across the globe. It is fortunate of Pakistan that the nature has bestowed gift of Gwadar port. The port has become strategically focal point to ‘Strait of Harmoz’ in the Indian Ocean. Therefore, it has always been a center of attention for not only regional politics but for global politics as well.

The installation of Gwadar port has wreaked the regional and trans regional power to develop strategic structure with the port in dire need to have access to Central Asian Republics (CARs) as that are enormously rich in the energy sector and other natural resources as well. Luckily, the completion of the project will certainly help in resolving internal issues. In fact, it can be panacea- if it works properly without any internal or external hindrance- for all the daunting problems including poverty and unemployment. As Pervaiz Musharraf – former president of Pakistan- once said, “ what we are doing in Gwadar will end the sense of deprivation among the masses, the district and surrounding areas, it will boost up the economic activities and alleviate poverty”.

Additionally, sea ports provide a pivotal link to a country across the world because they always have been hub of the commercial activities . However, Pakistan does trade approximately thirty eight million tons annually out of which more than ninety percent takes place through sea route. There is not any iota of doubt that the port will definitely enhance shipping activities at the large scale. Resultantly, it will be a robust rise in the economy of the state. However, unlike Karachi and Bin Qasim port, Gwadar’s far away location from Pakistan’s nuclear rival -India- will minimize vulnerability of it. Keeping a bird’s eye view on New Dehli will be more easy by establishment of Naval bases at the port with presence of China Naval assets in the Arabian Sea. Thus, it will also establish Pak-China cardinal naval relations to deny maneuver space to India Navy in Indian Ocean.

In case of blocking the strait of Malacca by the United States, it will serve as an alternate way too for Beijing in the Ocean and to west Asia. In the same manner, the port can provide spy services for observing Indian Naval activities around the Gulf of Persia. Last but not least, fear of gulf states- especially UAE and Iran- as an emerging rival port in the region will certainly share the economic and trade activities other wise they can exclusively enjoy all the time.

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Asif Shar Written by:

Columnist, writer and blogger.