Sunday, March 2, 2008

Gwadar, Can we handle it?


With Gwadar port almost ready, and it's anticipated that first ship will anchor there on March 15(1), Pakistan is set to embark upon another journey. A journey that many believe will bring good fortunes, and success to Pakistan, but when I see Gwadar, I see a totally different story. I not only sees promises of success that control of Straits of Hormuz will bring our beloved nation, but I also see it as a mishap just waiting to happen.

Gaining control of such a popular route of trade, through which 40% of the world oil is transported(2) will give Pakistan a a great deal of power, and, with great power comes great responsibility. Even more important than that great responsibility is the enemies that we can make or have made.

These "enemies" or should I say enemy, is India, Same India that broke Pakistan in 1971 under similar conditions. East Pakistan was contributing a lot of resources to federal government but was deprived of proper royalties. India silently ignited the instability which led to the breaking of Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.

Now India are starting a similar outburst of instability in Baluchistan, the outcry from the Baluchi public brings backs the memories of the tragic events of 1971. It is the same struggle just 40 years later and in the opposite corner of Pakistan. Indian Military has already been expressing concerns over consequences that Gwadar port can have o India, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Indian Naval chief said "Gwadar, being bulit in Baluchistan coast, would enable Pakistan take control over the world energy jugular and interdiction of Indian tankers"

This time around India not only has the local political instability, but also a constant threat from vulnerability of the security situation in Pakistan. Theoretically speaking It would not be hard for India (assuming they already haven't done so) to hire suicide bombers to threaten the success of ports or the web of highways and railroads that will accompany the port.

In order to make sure Gwadar is big of a success that Pakistan wants it to be, Pakistan needs to settle the disputes of the Baluchi people as soon as possible. Another thing that is mandatory is the security of the ports and the areas surrounding the port, to make sure that the events that took place in Karachi during the 80s do not repeat.

Abu Abdullah,
The Doctor of Truth