Gwadar port: regional game changer

By Israr shohaaz

Gwadar is regarded to be one of the most crucial upcoming places of South Asia located on the shores of Arabian Sea, engulfed with the sea in three directions. It is a small peninsula in the shores of the Arabian Sea located on the south western side of Pakistan in the province of Balochistan. It is estimated, approximately 533km far from the Karachi and 120Km from the Iranian border. Indeed, it is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf that is the most internationally travelled root for ships.

Gwadar has a great strategic importance, more interestingly it is located on the western end of Balochistan and the opposite end of Oman and also north western side of Iran that is a significance route of oil where one-third of the oil passes on this route which is a vital fate for the future of this region.

Gwadar deep sea port is the hub of trade and commerce for this state if that is functional. The Gwadar port is expected to generate billions of dollars in revenues and create at least millions of jobs for the settlers of this region. Gwadar port is placed at the top most deep sea port of this region after Singapore’s port; most distressingly Singapore port is farther for the ships. According to a rough survey that there is a distance of 1000 miles, if the Gwadar port is functional countless barrels of oil could be put off as savings.

China has a very great interest in Gwadar that is heavily dependent upon the oil from the Persian Gulf, at present his oil passes via a very long route through the Strait of Malacca which is under American influence. After this oil access to shanghai or the Chinese east coast has to be transported thousands of miles inland to the west of China. On the other side, by using Gwadar port and then the Karakoram highway, the oil follows a much safer cheaper and shorter route to the west of china.

Meanwhile, the Middle East is a very important region in the world because of its oil reserves and large markets; indeed, China has the natural dependence on this but desperately lacks means to determine. In this regard, the government of Pakistan has already displayed a commitment to furnish a naval base to China in Gwadar. This agreement does not merely strengthen the bilateral ties of both friendly countries but also leads it to the glorious heights. However, such type of investment in Gwadar would enter into a new horizon of a pragmatic shift in the race of trade and investment in Asia.

Though some analysts claim that china intends to establish a naval presence at Gwadar, others view that China will be cautious about such a development. China may not wish to become directly involved in Pakistanis internal conflicts which ultimately were seen after the cancellation of Prime Minister Jinn Pings visit in Pakistan in November 2014.

This article originally appeared as: ‘Gwadar port’

Courtesy: The Balochistan Point



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