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Geo-Strategic Significance of Pakistan

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by Glitcher, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Glitcher

    Glitcher FULL MEMBER

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    Geo-Strategic Significance of Pakistan

    Synopsis:

    1. Introduction
    2. Pakistan geographical location
    3. Strategic significance:
    a) - Proximity of great powers
    b) - Gateway to central Asia- oil and energy game
    c) - Significance as a transit economy
    d) - Significance as an important link in the chain of Muslim countries
    e) - Only Muslim country having nuclear capability

    4. Conclusions/ Analysis


    1- INTRODUCTION:

    Pakistan is located at a region which has great political, economic and strategic location. It has been hub of activities of great powers for last 20 years. It has witnessed intervention of three great powers i-e Britain, USSR, and USA. Its significance was further enhanced during cold war when it becomes ally of US policy of containment of USSR and now the post cold war era has witnessed its significance particularly after the events of 9/11.

    2- PAKISTAN GEOGRAPHICALLY LOCATION:

    Location: Southern Asia lies between 24 and 36.75 northern latitude and between 61 and 7505 eastern longitude.
    Area: 7, 96000 sq.km.

    Towards north apart from the state of Kashmir is china. It shares 400 km long boarder with china.
    Towards north Tajikistan though no boarder but a narrow strip as Wahkhan strip separate the two.
    Towards east, Punjab-Rajasthan boarders which is 1650 km long
    Towards west, Afghanistan and Durand line of 2250 km.
    Towards south, Arabian and Indian sea. Coastal belt is about 700 km.

    Pakistan significance is enhanced as it lies near the Persian Gulf where 65% of the world’s oil is produced.



    3- STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE:

    a) Proximity of great powers:

    Pakistan is located at the junction of great powers. In its neighbor’s one world power Russia and the other emerging power china lies. Any alliance among world powers enhances its significance. This factor has been utilized by Pakistan after 9/11. Security and business are two main US interests in the region while Pakistan is playing a front line role in the war against terrorism. Apart from this US interest in the region to contain the growing china, nuclear Iran, terrorist Afghanistan and to benefit from the market of India. Today the political scenario of the region is tinged with preemption policy and US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran’s nuclear program, India’s geopolitical muscles (new strategic deal with US) to gain hegemony and to counter the rise of china. Which has earned all the qualities to change unipoler world into bipolar world? In all these issues, Pakistan is directly or indirectly involved especially after al-Qeada operations. The American think tank has repeatedly accepted that war against terrorism could never be won without the help of Pakistan. Pakistan has rigorously fought and an ongoing operation in Waziristan is also targeting the suspected Taliban in the bordering area.

    b) Gateway to central Asia-(oil and energy game):

    Central Asia is the center stage of new Great games. Western quest for resources- oil and energy resources in the central Asia. After USSR decline, new quest started which is as manifested by politics of oil. Pakistan is located very close to the oil rich Middle Eastern countries. The belt started from Iran and extended to Saudi Arabia. Thus, Pakistan can influence shipment of oil. Iran is struggling to export its surplus gas and oil to eastern countries, Qatar, Pakistan and Turkmenistan pipeline projects highlight the position.
    In the energy scarce world, Pakistan is located in the hub of energy rich countries i-e Iran and Afghanistan: both are energy abundant while India and china are lacking. China finds way to Indian Ocean and Arabian sea through Karakoram highway,

    c) Significance as a Transit economy:

    Pakistan has the potential to develop transit economy on account is its strategic location, land locked Afghanistan now at the phase of reconstruction finds its ways through Pakistan. China with its fastest economy growth rate of 9% us developing southern provinces because its own part is 4500 km away from Sinkiang but Gwader is 2500 km away. Moreover, Pakistan offers central Asian regions the shortest route of 2600 km as compared to Iran 4500 km or turkey 5000 km. gwader port with its deep waters attracts the trade ships of china, CAR and south east Asian countries., also the coastal belt of Balochistan can provide outlet to china’s western provinces to have access to middles eastern markets with the development of coastal highways and motorways.

    d) Important link in the chain of Muslim countries:

    If we look at the map of Muslim countries, Pakistan occupies a central location. Towards west of Iran, china extends to North Africa. Thus it can actively participate in the activities of Muslim world-economic development, transport of resources and above all combat terrorism.

    e) Only Muslim country with nuclear capability:

    in the region Pakistan is the only Muslim country having nuclear capability which has great influence on the political, socio-economic activities in the region and the maintenance of status quo in the region.

    4- CONCLUSION / ANALYSIS:

    Geo strategic means the importance of a country or a region as by virtue of its geographical location. Stephen Cohn describes this importance “while history has been unkind with Pakistan, its geography has been its greatest benefit.”

    Pakistan is a junction of south Asia, west Asia and central Asia; a way from resource efficient countries to resource deficient countries. The world is facing energy crises and terrorism. Pakistan is a route for transportation and a front line state against terrorism. Moreover Pakistan has been traditionally ally of emerging economic giant; china. So in the vague of any change in world politics, Pakistan’s geo-strategic significance would further be enhanced.
     
  2. RiazHaq

    RiazHaq SENIOR MEMBER

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    A recent Xinhua report has for the first time shed light on China's growing concerns with US pivot to Asia which could threaten China's international trade and its economic lifeline of energy and other natural resources it needs to sustain and grow its economy. This concern has been further reinforced by the following:

    1. Frequent US statements to "check" China's rise. For example, former US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a 2011 address to the Naval Postgraduate School in California: "We try everything we can to cooperate with these rising powers and to work with them, but to make sure at the same time that they do not threaten stability in the world, to be able to project our power, to be able to say to the world that we continue to be a force to be reckoned with." He added that "we continue to confront rising powers in the world - China, India, Brazil, Russia, countries that we need to cooperate with. We need to hopefully work with. But in the end, we also need to make sure do not threaten the stability of the world."

    2. Chinese strategists see a long chain of islands from Japan in the north, all the way down to Australia, all United States allies, all potential controlling chokepoints that could block Chinese sea lanes and cripple its economy, business and industry.

    Chinese Premier's emphasis on "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" is mainly driven by their paranoia about the US intentions to "check China's rise" It is intended to establish greater maritime presence at Gwadar, located close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and to build land routes (motorways, rail links, pipelines) from the Persian Gulf through Pakistan to Western China. This is China's insurance to continue trade with West Asia and the Middle East in case of hostilities with the United States and its allies in Asia.


    As to the benefits for Pakistanis, the Chinese investment in "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" will help build infrastructure, stimulate Pakistan's economy and create millions of badly needed jobs.

    Clearly, China-Pakistan ties have now become much more strategic than the US-Pakistan ties, particularly since 2011 because, as American Journalist Mark Mazzetti of New York Times put it, the Obama administration's heavy handed policies "turned Pakistan against the United States". A similar view is offered by a former State Department official Vali Nasr in his book "The Dispensable Nation".

    Haq's Musings: How Strategic Are Pakistan-China Ties?
     
  3. Glitcher

    Glitcher FULL MEMBER

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    Thanx Sir a nice read and yes Chines Pak Ties are now more important for us then US Pak ties and obama administration's are proving to be the most anti Pakistan Gov of USA
     
  4. RiazHaq

    RiazHaq SENIOR MEMBER

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    The point is that China-Pak ties are very important to China and in Chinese interest. The need and interest is mutual which is the basis of any real long-lasting partnership.
     
  5. Glitcher

    Glitcher FULL MEMBER

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    yes with Growing activity of US and India in South China Sea Pakistan is the Life line for China and it will benifit us also
     
  6. Developereo

    Developereo PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    I can assure you 100% that Pakistan will screw up the China relationship.

    All Chinese interests require a stable security corridor through Baluchistan and KPK. Detractors of this relationship have a vested interest in sabotaging that corridor and, so far, they are winning.

    China tried once before to jump start major investments in Baluchistan but gave up because of the security situation.

    It's going to be deja vu all over again...
     
  7. RiazHaq

    RiazHaq SENIOR MEMBER

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    I am much less concerned about the Balochistan situation than I am about the Taliban threat.

    Baloch insurgents are few and deeply divided and no more than a nuisance for Pak military.

    The Taliban are many and they are much better organized, armed and trained and therefore a much bigger threat for Pakistan.

    [​IMG]

    Haq's Musings: Deafening Silence on Taliban Terror in Nawaz Sharif's Inaugural Speech
     
  8. Developereo

    Developereo PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    I agree with you about the relative strengths of the two terror groups, but the BLA has been a bigger threat for Chinese (and other) investments in Baluchistan.

    Both the BLA and TTP -- both local fanatics -- are supported by the same opportunistic foreign elements who want to keep the pot boiling in Pakistan.

    The importance of this trade corridor to China, and to the Pak-China relationship, is not lost on our enemies either.
     
  9. Black Eagle 90

    Black Eagle 90 BANNED

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    Pakistan needs to work well on its Border and Maritime security.