Pakistan Makes Two Bold Decisions

Via Eurasia Review, an interesting OpEd on two strategic decisions recently taken by Pakistan:

Aerial view of Gwadar Port, Pakistan

Aerial view of Gwadar Port, Pakistan

 Pakistan has recently made two very bold, but strategic decisions, which have drawn the concern of regional and global superpowers. These decisions are: 1) transferring management of the Gwadar port located in Balochistan to China and 2) ground breaking and initiating work on the Pakistani side of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

In the later, this ceremony was jointly performed by Pakistani and Iranian presidents on Monday. Both presidents were accompanied at the ground-breaking by delegations comprising ministers and top officials, as well as representatives of several Arab states.

While Pakistanis have appreciated both the decisions, certain quarters within and outside Pakistan are extremely annoyed. In fact, the opponents of these two decisions don’t want the two neighbors of Pakistan and Iran to enjoy amicable and mutually beneficial relationship.

Among the opponents, the United States is at the top, followed by many of the countries from Arabian Peninsula who are also playing the US mantra. Some of them even term ‘Iran a bigger threat when compared to Israel’. These countries are extending full support to the US to crush Iran by imposing sanctions and by continuing the ban on the export of its oil. Iran is among the top three largest oil producing countries.

One can understand the hue and cry of India on the transfer of management control of the Gwadar port to China. The reason is simple: India has invested billions of dollars on the construction of the Chabahar port, rail and road links to Central Asia via Afghanistan.

If the Gwadar port becomes fully operational the importance of the Chabahar port would be undermined to a large extent. However, this was known to India when it initiated the project. Nevertheless, developing an alternate route to Central Asia via Afghanistan was considered a must and India was fully supported by the US in this endeavor — at no stage was India even warned of possible sanctions.

The withdrawal of NATO combat soldiers, armaments and other sensitive equipment has started through Pakistan, which is not appreciated by India because traffic is not being diverted to the Chabahar port.

In such a scenario, the involvement of Indian intelligence agencies in any sabotage activities in Pakistan can’t be ruled out. Repeatedly, it has been established that the perpetrators are neither Taliban nor the members of any other militant outfits.

Many believe that those who attacked the Peshawar airbase were certainly not Taliban, as were those who attacked the Mehran Naval base in Karachi. Similarly, the burning of the houses of Christians was also an act of those who want the international community to show that minorities are not safe in Pakistan.

It is on record that parts of many Muslim countries have been divided to create countries for minorities. These groups are already busy in creating disturbances in Bangladesh.

Pakistan’s enemies know well that its economic activities can only be brought to grinding halt by creating unrest and disrupting economic activities.

The  completion of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and the construction of a mega oil refinery at Gwadar will establish Pakistan as energy corridor.

China certainly has an economic interest because using the Gwadar port will reduced the distance to less than 2000km from the existing around 6,000km. This will not only help in saving billions of dollars in freight, but also ensure the security of the products being carried.

Many of the countries, including the US and India don’t approve of this arrangement. Pakistan will not only gain access to energy supplies, but it will also be able to earn millions of dollars as transit fee.

On top of that, Pakistan will also be able to offer efficient and cost effective transit facilities to Afghanistan, which will undermine the importance of India.

Over the years, and during the war on terror, Pakistan has been meeting the energy requirements of NATO forces. As such, Afghanistan has no oil refinery and it is likely to remain dependent on Pakistan for many years to come.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 at 8:49 am and is filed under India, Pakistan.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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