• Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Gwadar, Chabahar and Dubai

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by Devil Soul, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Devil Soul

    Devil Soul ELITE MEMBER

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    Gwadar, Chabahar and Dubai
    By Naveed Ahmad
    Published: March 14, 2017
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    Less than 100 kilometers apart, Gwadar and Chabahar are emerging ambitious rivals. For decades, both the sleepy coastal towns relied on marine fishing and trivial shipping trade. Pakistan never profited from Balochistan’s potential until recently. Legend has it that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had consented to Kremlin to building a Soviet naval base in Gwadar port. The agreement was never formally signed, thanks to the Pakistani leader’s domestic political woes. Around the same time, the US wooed Shah of Iran for a naval base in Chabahar. Both lost power to lasting coups. The next-door capital of Sistan-Balochistan province was particularly snubbed after blood-soaked coup of 1979 for being a rare Sunni majority region.

    Not only Gwadar but also the entire Makran coast – stretching over 1,500 kilometers of shoreline from Alkouh region north of Iran’s Mina port to Lasbela District north of Karachi port in Pakistan – owes much to US President Barack Obama. America crafted ‘pivot to Asia’ policy to rebalance its foreign policy and backed it with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Though Barack Obama’s Russia reset was projected as another masterstroke of a statesman, the US foreign policy faltered on almost every count. While the ‘pivot’ got India as its supreme beneficiary, China remained far from deterred. Not only did it strengthen control over the South China Sea through new naval bases, Beijing also checkmated Washington with its one-belt-one-road strategy and string-of-pearls venture. US President Donald Trump topped it up by abandoning the TPP to China and Russia’s gain. The White House’s Russia ‘reset’ was at best a hallucination. Obama’s misadventures left the Pacific and Indian oceans amidst newer challenges.

    Notwithstanding an assortment of trials, Gwadar fits perfectly in China and Pakistan’s scheme of things. Already signatory to defence pact with Iran since 2003, India chose Chabahar to not only challenge China’s entry in the Indian Ocean but also to encircle Pakistan while gaining backdoor entry in Afghanistan. As per its stated policy, Iran neither portrays Chabahar rivalling Gwadar nor being a strategic asset for India. The reality is, of course, to the contrary.

    Owing to its unique status in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Gwadar is projected to resemble Singapore in the future. Chabahar emerges as India and Iran’s reply to China and Pakistan. Some analysts forecast that each of the nascent ports will upset Dubai one day. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has always jealously safeguarded its ports’ monopoly in the region, has been warily observing developments on the mouth of Strait of Hormuz. Are the neighbouring but competing ports worth the hype?

    As for Chabahar, India’s prospective benefits can be gauged from its investment in the project along with other indicators. Delhi had earlier committed about $500 million to the port’s development while its recently announced budget earmarks paltry $22 million. China’s trade with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members dwarfs India’s existing and projected trade volume with Central Asian states (including Afghanistan) and Eurasia.

    Gwadar is slated to handle not only China’s imports from and exports to members of GCC but also Africa and partly Europe. Being the world’s largest energy consumer since 1993, China devours over 25 per cent of the global output; the GCC states are its largest source of hydrocarbons. Come 2020, Beijing will soar by a notch to become the GCC’s largest trading partner. The Asian giant will likely be importing GCC goods worth $160 billion while exporting goods worth $135 billion. By 2025, its maritime commerce will overwhelmingly divert to Pakistan’s Gwadar port instead of passing through narrow and tense Strait of Malacca in the South China Sea. For now, Saudi Arabia is China’s single largest oil-trading partner after Russia, supplying more than 15 per cent of the country’s total annual imports. With the expected signing of the China-GCC FTA this year, China will surpass the entire European Union as the GCC region’s top trading partner. Seeing heavy reliance on Pakistan, the GCC nations such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar are mulling over setting up refineries and laying pipelines to Gwadar. Aramco already is repositioning and diversifying itself while pursuing an aggressive and multifaceted strategy for growth.

    By far, Gwadar is a decade ahead of Chabahar in terms of development and higher brand recognition among the maritime industry. Iran’s belligerent security posturing and interventionist policies of harbouring non-state actors in Muslim countries constantly put her at the risk of war as well as sanctions.

    Chabahar is and continues to be a fishing port and does not match Gwadar, which is a natural harbour and the deepest in Asia, with little need for continuous dredging. Gwadar is naturally suited to dock ‘very large crude carriers’ (VLCC) while Chabahar requires massive development and maintenance effort.

    Gawadar or Chabahar will never be able to challenge Dubai’s Jebel Ali and Port Rashid. While the Makran coastal ports are under development, the Dubai ports boast 102 berths, with active VLCC petroleum supply terminals. While the Iranian port is no match to its Pakistani rival’s capacity and potential, Gwadar will complement the UAE’s maritime trade. In the times to come, the Strait of Hormuz will face ever more congestion which can either be solved through laying of pipelines to the Makran coast to serve China, Pakistan and other GCC oil buying nations or using Gwadar as auxiliary anchorage.

    Dubai and Gwadar are set to be sister ports, for China is now the city’s biggest non-oil trade partner. Thus, nearly entire maritime share of UAE’s $50 billion China trade will take place via Gwadar. For all practical purposes, the Gulf state will invest in the emerging port instead of torpedoing it like Pakistan’s neighbours. Dubai is a mature port with state-of-the-art facilities located in the heart of the GCC while Gwadar will have to learn a lot from the success story. However, Dubai may face serious intimidation from Oman’s Sohar port. The most ambitious and realistic challenger to ports perched on the Strait of Arabian Gulf lies just outside the bottlenecked passageway. Separated by 200 kilometers to the southeast of Dubai, Sohar is starting to compete for traffic with Jebel Ali and other top ports inside the Gulf. Backed by Omani rail system, Sohar plans to increase its container capacity further to 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit cargo capacity) in 2017. The planned GCC railway network will place Sohar at par if not above Dubai a decade or less later. Once fully operational, Gwadar will help bolster maritime for trade Dubai and Sohar while innately lessening the congestion challenge.

    While securing its vast territorial waters from rival sabotage bids, Pakistan must institutionalise a maritime partnership regime with GCC ports. Besides, it also requires a multilateral interface with the GCC on a wide-range of issues. Moreover, Islamabad and Beijing require a forum with the Gulf nations. Pakistan must also actively participate in China-GCC strategic dialogue, as Islamabad’s ties with the Gulf nations have been bilateral. Unlike India, the Islamic republic does not even maintain observer status in the Arab League. The same holds true for the African Union as Gwadar will be engine for the mega continent’s trade with China, Pakistan and Central Asia

    Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2017.
     
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  2. ABCharlie

    ABCharlie FULL MEMBER

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    Good take on the topic.
     
  3. PaklovesTurkiye

    PaklovesTurkiye SENIOR MEMBER

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    By Naveed Ahmad
    Published: March 14, 2017

    [​IMG]
    PHOTO: AFP

    Less than 100 kilometers apart, Gwadar and Chabahar are emerging ambitious rivals. For decades, both the sleepy coastal towns relied on marine fishing and trivial shipping trade. Pakistan never profited from Balochistan’s potential until recently. Legend has it that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had consented to Kremlin to building a Soviet naval base in Gwadar port. The agreement was never formally signed, thanks to the Pakistani leader’s domestic political woes. Around the same time, the US wooed Shah of Iran for a naval base in Chabahar. Both lost power to lasting coups. The next-door capital of Sistan-Balochistan province was particularly snubbed after blood-soaked coup of 1979 for being a rare Sunni majority region.



    Not only Gwadar but also the entire Makran coast – stretching over 1,500 kilometers of shoreline from Alkouh region north of Iran’s Mina port to Lasbela District north of Karachi port in Pakistan – owes much to US President Barack Obama. America crafted ‘pivot to Asia’ policy to rebalance its foreign policy and backed it with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Though Barack Obama’s Russia reset was projected as another masterstroke of a statesman, the US foreign policy faltered on almost every count. While the ‘pivot’ got India as its supreme beneficiary, China remained far from deterred. Not only did it strengthen control over the South China Sea through new naval bases, Beijing also checkmated Washington with its one-belt-one-road strategy and string-of-pearls venture. US President Donald Trump topped it up by abandoning the TPP to China and Russia’s gain. The White House’s Russia ‘reset’ was at best a hallucination. Obama’s misadventures left the Pacific and Indian oceans amidst newer challenges.

    Notwithstanding an assortment of trials, Gwadar fits perfectly in China and Pakistan’s scheme of things. Already signatory to defence pact with Iran since 2003, India chose Chabahar to not only challenge China’s entry in the Indian Ocean but also to encircle Pakistan while gaining backdoor entry in Afghanistan. As per its stated policy, Iran neither portrays Chabahar rivalling Gwadar nor being a strategic asset for India. The reality is, of course, to the contrary.

    Owing to its unique status in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Gwadar is projected to resemble Singapore in the future. Chabahar emerges as India and Iran’s reply to China and Pakistan. Some analysts forecast that each of the nascent ports will upset Dubai one day. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has always jealously safeguarded its ports’ monopoly in the region, has been warily observing developments on the mouth of Strait of Hormuz. Are the neighbouring but competing ports worth the hype?

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    As for Chabahar, India’s prospective benefits can be gauged from its investment in the project along with other indicators. Delhi had earlier committed about $500 million to the port’s development while its recently announced budget earmarks paltry $22 million. China’s trade with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members dwarfs India’s existing and projected trade volume with Central Asian states (including Afghanistan) and Eurasia.

    Gwadar is slated to handle not only China’s imports from and exports to members of GCC but also Africa and partly Europe. Being the world’s largest energy consumer since 1993, China devours over 25 per cent of the global output; the GCC states are its largest source of hydrocarbons. Come 2020, Beijing will soar by a notch to become the GCC’s largest trading partner. The Asian giant will likely be importing GCC goods worth $160 billion while exporting goods worth $135 billion. By 2025, its maritime commerce will overwhelmingly divert to Pakistan’s Gwadar port instead of passing through narrow and tense Strait of Malacca in the South China Sea. For now, Saudi Arabia is China’s single largest oil-trading partner after Russia, supplying more than 15 per cent of the country’s total annual imports. With the expected signing of the China-GCC FTA this year, China will surpass the entire European Union as the GCC region’s top trading partner. Seeing heavy reliance on Pakistan, the GCC nations such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar are mulling over setting up refineries and laying pipelines to Gwadar. Aramco already is repositioning and diversifying itself while pursuing an aggressive and multifaceted strategy for growth.

    By far, Gwadar is a decade ahead of Chabahar in terms of development and higher brand recognition among the maritime industry. Iran’s belligerent security posturing and interventionist policies of harbouring non-state actors in Muslim countries constantly put her at the risk of war as well as sanctions.

    Chabahar is and continues to be a fishing port and does not match Gwadar, which is a natural harbour and the deepest in Asia, with little need for continuous dredging. Gwadar is naturally suited to dock ‘very large crude carriers’ (VLCC) while Chabahar requires massive development and maintenance effort.

    Gawadar or Chabahar will never be able to challenge Dubai’s Jebel Ali and Port Rashid. While the Makran coastal ports are under development, the Dubai ports boast 102 berths, with active VLCC petroleum supply terminals. While the Iranian port is no match to its Pakistani rival’s capacity and potential, Gwadar will complement the UAE’s maritime trade. In the times to come, the Strait of Hormuz will face ever more congestion which can either be solved through laying of pipelines to the Makran coast to serve China, Pakistan and other GCC oil buying nations or using Gwadar as auxiliary anchorage.

    Dubai and Gwadar are set to be sister ports, for China is now the city’s biggest non-oil trade partner. Thus, nearly entire maritime share of UAE’s $50 billion China trade will take place via Gwadar. For all practical purposes, the Gulf state will invest in the emerging port instead of torpedoing it like Pakistan’s neighbours. Dubai is a mature port with state-of-the-art facilities located in the heart of the GCC while Gwadar will have to learn a lot from the success story. However, Dubai may face serious intimidation from Oman’s Sohar port. The most ambitious and realistic challenger to ports perched on the Strait of Arabian Gulf lies just outside the bottlenecked passageway. Separated by 200 kilometers to the southeast of Dubai, Sohar is starting to compete for traffic with Jebel Ali and other top ports inside the Gulf. Backed by Omani rail system, Sohar plans to increase its container capacity further to 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit cargo capacity) in 2017. The planned GCC railway network will place Sohar at par if not above Dubai a decade or less later. Once fully operational, Gwadar will help bolster maritime for trade Dubai and Sohar while innately lessening the congestion challenge.

    While securing its vast territorial waters from rival sabotage bids, Pakistan must institutionalise a maritime partnership regime with GCC ports. Besides, it also requires a multilateral interface with the GCC on a wide-range of issues. Moreover, Islamabad and Beijing require a forum with the Gulf nations. Pakistan must also actively participate in China-GCC strategic dialogue, as Islamabad’s ties with the Gulf nations have been bilateral. Unlike India, the Islamic republic does not even maintain observer status in the Arab League. The same holds true for the African Union as Gwadar will be engine for the mega continent’s trade with China, Pakistan and Central Asia

    Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2017.

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    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1354422/gwadar-chabahar-dubai/

    His articles are always to the point and easy to grasp...Really a good author.
     
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  4. HAKIKAT

    HAKIKAT FULL MEMBER

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    And, Pak boots on KSA/GCC....
     
  5. MIR RAZA HUSSAIN

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    their is some mis information in here KSA is not providing oil to china its Iran who is providing oil plus iran is also in process of making mega oil city at gawader so how can Iran become a bone of contention for gawader. it is true endia is trying its lvl best to make charbahar anti gawader but endia have to admit they can not bring it close to gawader as gawader is God gifted deep sea port. plus iran and Pakistan have very close and friendly relations despite of all this dram created by endians to sperate Iran and Pakistan both countries are still very close.
    but Dubai can become bone of contention because gawader will surely take away dubai suppiority
     
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  6. zubair_chachar

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    Iran and Pakistan are not friends my friend ......... keep this in your mind always ..... Iran is the friend of india an enemy of Pakistan and it always back hit Pakistan like kalbhushan , 2003 defense accord and many things so plz read history
     
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  7. MIR RAZA HUSSAIN

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    for once get out of that sectarian hate and look things with open eyes
    if Iran was Pakistan enemy then why did it provide air bases during indo Pak war which helped us alot as iaf was unable to destroy our jets on ground as we wer successfully destroying enemy air bases and planes on ground. If Iran is or was not Pakistan friend then why did it provide oil and other help at a time when we wer under sanctions due to our nuclear test???? the list is long but these are very prominent points just to clear mis information

    Still its true their wer some issues in recent past like kulbushan and some cross boarder shelling all these wer to defame relation between the two and now all that is clear and two countries are getting more closer day by day

    as for charbahar if you say its influnced by endia then rechecked again PNS ALAMGIRE PNS TIPU PNS SHAHJAHAN and PNS JAHANGIR ship has called port at charbahar and these PNS ships are not trading ships these are fighting ships which can make things clear how much ****** influence is on charbahar, its very big thing to get your enemies top line battel ships to get docked at a strategically important port which you are trying to use against your enemy
     
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  8. Talwar e Pakistan

    Talwar e Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    Not to mention, Iran first asked Pakistan/China to join the Charbahar project before India joined in and invested in it.
     
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  9. VFY

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    Countries don't have friends. They have interests.
     
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  10. ABCharlie

    ABCharlie FULL MEMBER

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    Exactly, and Iran's and Pakistan's interests lie with each other now in the current political and strategic set up.
     
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  11. -blitzkrieg-

    -blitzkrieg- FULL MEMBER

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    this londa laparaa article is like 3/10. (besides the bad vocab) His basis of coupling Dubai with Gwadar as sister ports is based on something he stated earlier.
    "Gawadar or Chabahar will never be able to challenge Dubai’s Jebel Ali and Port Rashid."

    there you go you missed it and gave the article a thumbs up..
    Who the duck is he to decide who can compete with whom..
    we can learn from shanghai ,his advice is impractical even in regards to the Omanian port.Oman is Pakistans ally , a competitor like others and not a threat.

    He believes Gawadar does not have the capacity to surpass 102 berths, i think otherwise. and i believe in making both the Dubai as well Chahbahar ports as sister ports .he says the approach should be gcc centric i say we should also network with bandar abass. we will not take sides in this arab/persian tussle and who ever wants to suck an arab/persian @#%$ can go to his respective country and do that.This is strictly business , if you dont play smart you will lose the plot and direction.
     
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  12. ABCharlie

    ABCharlie FULL MEMBER

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    I said it was a good take. I didn't say it was carved in stone. It's a different perspective, different to what is usually being discussed and seen in our circles. And I do agree with making both Dubai and Chabahar as sister ports. But more than that, I would like to see Oman's port as sister port to Gwadar with a number of trade pacts and agreements to benefit both countries.
     
  13. HRK

    HRK PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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  14. zubair_chachar

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    My friend Iran provided Air bases during Shah reign , you know after Shah Iranian soo called mullah regime tried to import its so called inqlab to Pakistan............ My friend so please first you get out of that sectarian hate and unconditional love with Iran and read ground realities , if Iran still want to be our partner then we welcome Iran but fist they stop firing inside Pakistan and get out Indian agents who are creating Problem in Baluchistan.... oohh i remember Iran himself has some problem with Pakistani Baluchistan especially oil factor...
     
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  15. MIR RAZA HUSSAIN

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    for me my Pakistan comes first others go to hell i don't care either its Iran or KSA for me it Pakistan first.
    as for Air base as far as i remember Shah of Iran was in power up till 1969. it was your so called mullah regime in 1971 and even after 1971 their was a time when we had to scatter our jets due to some reason which can not be made public plus what about all the support at times when we wer under sanctions that time Muslim world showed unity both KSA and Iran helped us out and we need that unity back.
    and yes their wer some problems at Pak Iran boarder due to raw agents present at both end which wer causing issues but now it is solved.
     
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