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



Twister said...

Pakistan has no claim over the strait of Hormuz. The strait is under Territorial claim of Iran, UAE and Oman.

Gwadar is more of a hyped puff than real use...if Pakistan expects China to use Gwadar for shipping, it's a misconception. Majority of China's economic activity is towards the eastern parts of the country (Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong)...and they have Shanghai and Hong Kong ports, which are among the busiest in the world. If people expect the chinese to carry containers from Gwadar all the way up to the karakorum highway, then into china, across the entire chinese mainland into the east,that's a foolish misconception.

And with already long-established and well set oil ports in the region (Doha, Manama, Bandar Abbas, Mina Jebel Ali, Mina Rashid, Mina al Fahal) it's pretty useless expecting Gwadar to take the place of Jebel Ali or wont happen.

The Doctor of Truth said...

Actually, China is willing to trade through Gwadar. If you do some more research you'll see that it is more convenient for china to trade through Gwadar than Shanghai port, because, Shanghai is about 16,000 KM from Chinese industiral aread, while Gwadar is only about 2500KM, also it tkae additional 2-3 months to get Shanghai ports, and to top it off, because of temperature issues Gwadar will be available for use all year around.

Twister said...

16,000 kilometers? that doesnt seem to make sense...if u went 16,000 kilometers,it is a HUGE distance...Dubai to Sydney is 12,264 kilometers (NavTeq GPS data)...and 14,750 is Dubai to Auckland (New Zealand)...

Shanghai and Hong Kong are both year-round accessible ports, and industrial areas of China are towards the eastern side of the country (like Chengdu for example)

Furthermore, according to the encarta cartograph tool, the distance between shanghai and gwadar over the land route is almost 6,200 kilometers. China's trade will remain in Shanghai and Hong Kong also because if the fact that these ports are much closer to Japan and South Korea...and their trade with China is far greater than what china trades with pakistan.

The Doctor of Truth said...

Actually you are right my numbers may have been wrong, but still china is financing the building of this port, obviously they wish to trade through it.