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Featured Militarization of Indian Ocean and its Implications on Pakistan

Discussion in 'Pakistan Navy' started by PDF, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. PDF

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    Whoever controls the Indian Ocean, dominates the Asia”-Alfred Thayer Mahan

    Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean of the world. It is considered as hub of globalization as it provides connectivity between east and west. Two-Third of the world trade occurred through this ocean so it is having a tremendous strategic location which is significant for emerging power. [1]Indian Ocean also called as “Ratnakara(the mine of gems) in sansikrit. The most crucial trade route is Malacca strait in the ocean and secondly it provide passage to oil from Persian gulf to rest of the world. The economic interest and threatening security environment engaged different regional and extra regional players militarily.[2]

    Oxford Dictionary stated Militarization as “preparation for an immediate combat situation or a violent conflict by nations or arms groups”. [3] It can be of various forms like deployment of troops, Building up Naval capabilities, Weapons of Mass destruction. In Indian Ocean Militarization done by many foreign countries and also other countries who are sharing border with Indian Ocean. As different states have stakes and interests. The protagonist countries are; India, China, Pakistan and USA respectively.

    Major Players in Indian Ocean

    India is also a fastest growing economy. It is located in the center of Indian Ocean and it’s coastline along ocean is 75, 00. This region is top priority of India as for her it is very significant as 90% of trade occurred through the ocean and it also imports LNG, 45% coming through sea. it is also dependent on resources of ocean.[4]India suspects that china is surrounding her by following her policy string of pearls. For increasing involvement of china, India has looked upon USA for making alliance or to contain china in Indian Ocean.[5] In opening of Malacca strait there are two islands; Nicobar and Andaman respectively over there they have naval presence in case of any conflict India can tackle china.

    USA is another actor which is involved in ocean and playing cards, USA has its base in Diego Garcia so that in case of any conflict it can deploy its naval forces quickly. As USA is dependent on Middle East for oil so openness of passage is very crucial So second involvement is to protect its own interest that in case of any conflict Iran may block the strait of Hormuz in this case USA naval fleet will be able to prevent Iran to do so. Thirdly small Nations such as Australia having a lesser power so it ally with USA for its protection and this could only possible if USA stay over there’s also gives this justification.[6]

    China is rising economically and it’s second great power after USA. It is also dependent on Indian Ocean in term of oil trade, Raw material and it’s sea lane route passing through very critical area of Indian Ocean; Malacca Strait as near to it there is presence of Indian navy so by developing it’s navy she can protect her resources. India’s growing economy and china’s growing global influence have highlight the strategic standing of ocean. China wants its regional maritime presence. Right now focusing on open sea and offshore defense[7].

    In Context of Pakistan CPEC has great importance. India fears that the OBOR, undergirded by CPEC, could hand over it to the margins of both land and maritime Asia. By choosing for the Gwadar Port and CPEC, Pakistan has chosen to become a regional economic pivot and a major maritime power. In this regard, it has three fundamental and instantaneous responsibilities: to complete CPEC projects on time and take them to the next higher stage, to build national agreement behind them, and to eliminate terrorism. Pakistan is successfully moving in all these directions. Second, Pakistan will have larger naval presence in IOR; and that demands, for general maritime security, a stronger Pakistan Navy for protection of the sea lanes carrying Pakistan’s as well as international merchandize. This task would require more naval assets and related infrastructure. While China would be there to safeguard its own interests in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, Pakistan, which up to now has been largely oriented as a land and air power, would have to build its conventional and strategic naval muscle proportionately Indian Ocean is transforming because of three reasons; China’s rise as an emerging economy and its inauguration of maritime Silk Road; one belt one road (OBOR) and secondly rebalancing of USA pivot to Asia and thirdly emerging economies which are littoral to Indian Ocean. In Years ahead there would be rapid economic activities and would instigate rapid militarization.[8]

    Implications on Pakistan

    Challenges to Pakistan are originating because of power projection of different states in Indian Ocean. Side by side terrorism, piracy and environmental concerns are further adding to the scenario. OBOR also need proper security mechanism. India-USA strategic partnership is also a high stake for USA as this will help India to build up nuclear capabilities; air craft carrier technology, drones, marine helicopters and anti-submarine gear respectively. Which will in turn instigate risky situation for Pakistan and third thing is India is making partnership with other states to like Iran and other Gulf states to tackle the Pakistan and China partnership.[9]

    China is continuously building its naval capabilities. China’s maritime power named, Far sea defense, aimed to achieve two objectives; firstly to secure its maritime security and secondly to protect its interest in term of economics in Indian Ocean in Indian Ocean and West Africa. As china is expanding its economic interest so presence of navy will protect transportation routes and will help to secure sea lanes and to achieve china need to have comprehensive naval capabilities. Chinese building up of naval capabilities will ultimately engage USA as well which will put catastrophic effect in the region.[10]

    Moreover, militarization is also posing non -traditional security threats such as piracy, terrorism and environmental issues as well and now after the partnership of China and Pakistan in Indian Ocean, it is dire need to overcome these challenges as this is good for both to secure their interests.[11]

    India has also deployed its navy in the ocean to secure its own interest. As being the major shareholder in Indian Ocean trade and commerce activities in esteem of imported crude oil, raw materials, and consumer goods, the country’s exports. It has become essential for India to ensure the security of SLOCs from the Persian Gulf, Europe, and East Asia. The security of these vigorous shipping lanes is also linked with India’s dependence on the security of the Indian Ocean, combined with its need to monitor and, if necessary, patterned the naval activity of other regional powers. The Indian Navy’s presence has moved to 40 ships and submarines, two nuclear submarines, two aircraft carriers. This would go up to have a 165-ship fleet by 2022 ranging from surface combatants, submarines to three aircraft carrier groups with a total of 400 MiG-29K aircraft and helicopters. India’s defense budget is more than Pakistan. Pakistan has also naval presence in the Indian Ocean but up till now India is leading and Pakistan is building its capabilities.

    [​IMG]
    Summary of forces

    [​IMG]
    Cordesman,Abdullah Touken, “The Indian Ocean Region: A Strategic Net Assessment”, Center for Strategic and International Studies,july,2017
    This bar chart showing that Pakistan’s forces are far behind from India.Pakistan is also struggling for building capabilities in term of maritime security.Aman Exercise first time happened in 2007 and at that time 28 countries contributed but now Multinational Aman(Together for peace) Exercise 2017 happaened in arbian sea in which navies of 35 states joined the exercise and this representation was shown with boarded helicopters,explosive ordnance diposal,special operation forces and maritime observers. PLA Navy conducting major naval manoeuvres with Pakistan Navy in the North Arabian Sea in a exhibition of resolve to guard multibillion dollar innovativeness CPEC.Pakkistan Navy has elevated a Special naval Task Force to protect and defense the Gwadar port. The newly-instituted special Task Force will include ships, fast attack craft, drones and surveillance possessions to guard the port as well as contiguous sea.[12]

    India’s blue Navy is putting great implication on Pakistan.Pakistan is uptill now lag behind naval capabilities. Pakistan newly tested a 700 km land-sea version of cruise missile, Babur. Not too long ago, India test fired submarine launched Intermediate Range Ballistic missile, K-4. On December 26 last, India tested Agni-V, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). With a strike range of over 5,000 km, Agni V can reach southern parts of China. To ensure satisfactory stability, Pakistan tested its version of submarine launched cruise missile, Babur III early this January.Pakistan has also signed deal with China (PLA Navy) and according to this deal Pakistan will buy Hangor class of submarine also negotiationg on corvettes to further extend the strategic partnership.it can create balance in indian cocean.Pakistan has to build its conventional and navy muscles correspondingly.As it is necessary for pakistan to tackle India and alone Pakistan can’t do that.[13]

    Modernization Plans of Pakistan in Indian Ocean

    Indian Ocean is though hub of globalization but side by side it’s posing a threat to Pakistan’s national security. To secure its survival Pakistan is developing new capabilities as according to realist perspective 3s (statism, survival, security) are very crucial for a state.Inspite of significant geopolitical position, Pakistan has not paid attention to its own country and this lack of attention has put her far behind from India but now the current nuclearization of Indian Ocean by many other countries has opened the eyes of Pakistan and also due to project of CPEC, Pakistan is now focusing on its navy to tackle any difficult situation in Indian Ocean. As Pakistan is not economically well off so that’s why she will focus on upgradation of existing arsenals rather to make new one.

    Pakistan is building up its arsenal with the help of China, Russia and Turkey. Chinese are providing support in building of not only arsenals but side by side giving training to Pakistani technicians. China is not only supporting Pakistan economically but also building human resource. Russia will supply F-22 frigates with enhanced capability of sensors and possibly will also include SAM, surface to air missile. Pakistan has also hired second fast attack craft missile (FACM) named PNS HIMMAT and this is under the program of AZMAT fast attack craft missile which was initiated in 2013 with the collaboration of China and now Pakistan has made its indigenous second FACM and first one was PNS DEHSHAT.Though it is a small vessel but still has capability to hit surface ships. Fast attack craft is also equipped with other arsenals like guns and other electronic combat equipment and it has fast speed but it can be used in operation beyond 100-150 nautical miles from its respective coast. No doubt it’s an appreciated accumulation in the operational capability of Pakistan .But disadvantage is its small size and it can’t be operated in area which is far from its range. But FAC’s capability can be improved by investing in supersonic anti-ship missile ASHM and ASHM which is longer in range which can provide long range surveillance and this can effectually extend the range of fast air craft FAC.[14]

    Gwadar port has brought Pakistan and China more closer and now Pakistan is enhancing its naval assets with the collaboration of China. Pakistan has finalized the agreement over submarines with China and China will deliver eight submarines; S20 and SSK respectively. Among eight submarines, four of them will be constructed in Pakistanand rest of four will be constructed in China. Pakistan has also done agreement with Turkey in upgradations of its naval assets; in term of undersea combat competences. In June, agreement between Pakistan and Turkey over 3 Agosta 90B-class (aka Khalid-class) which is “diesel-electric attack submarines” furnished with air-independent impulsion schemes.Anti-ship warfare capability will further enhance the chance to prevent the naval blockade and these steps like upgradation of existing arsenals, training programs is a clear message that Pakistan is ready to counter existential threats in Indian Ocean.[15]

    Modernizaton plans of India in Indian Ocean

    Chinese presence and its partnership with Pakistan have alarmed India and she is also developing and heavily investing in naval assets to tackle its major rivals; Pakistan and China respectively. India is focusing on its indigenous capabilities to modernize its weapons and in term of extension of its naval forces. Since 2014 India has different type of vessels which are 41 in number. These includes; corvettes, frigates, aircraft carriers, nuclear and conventional powered submarines and these are still under construction[16]. Side by side India is also investing in Anti-submarine shipscapabilities like “Kamorta-class corvette”. Long range surveillance maritime aircraft and ships which include “Saryu-class petrol vessel “and UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) like “IAI-Heron-1”but still India is lagging behind in term of submarine armada which has put very bad impact on its other naval capabilities[17].

    India is also building aircraft carrier but still under development.one aircraft is INS Vishal which is 65,000 in weightage and will be able to house almost 55 aircrafts and aircrafts will be launched by a system (CATOBAR) “catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery”. This system will help aircraft in launch from carrier and aircraft will able to carry heavier armaments payload and this aircraft carrier is expected to be commissioned in Indian navy in 2030s.it will be driven by nuclear apparatus. But India has no experience in term of nuclear impulsion in surface vessel so there is chance that India may cooperate with US and France in term of this aspect[18]. Since 2012 India has only one nuclear driven submarine which she has taken from Russia on contract[19]

    India is also building nuclear city where she is developing both nuclear and conventional weapons and located in South India.She is also developing thermonuclear weapons and this will disturb the balance of whole region.Already there is conventional assymetry between India and Pakistan but this will instigate full fledge arms race in the region[20].It is commonly said that she is developing its nuclear city but still there is no credible information about it, whether she is developing or not.

    Second strike capability of Pakistan

    Pakistan’s full spectrum deterrence will not be complete without a triad vis-a-vis India, including a symmetric and credible naval component. The stronger a country’s economy, the stronger security cover it would need to protect and sustain it. Pakistan has a narrow window to build its naval capabilities. The opportunity will shrink if this task belongs to the distant future and the precipitation of spying networks around Pakistan’s coastline and the mainland would thicken more vigilance and cooperation with friendly countries will be required to combat this threat.[21]

    Second strike capability is traditionally acquired by having submarine-launched ballistic/cruise missiles. They serve as credible deterrence tanks to their survivibility and give a great boost to the defence of a state.Both states are working on second strike capability.First India tested SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) K-4 and K-15.India is trying to test its missiles and when tests will successful India will deploy missile on its nuclear powered submarine.Pakistan tested its second strike capbility after India by launching first ever nuclear capable submarine launched cruise missile Babur-III. In near future India has 2 nuclear submarines and this missile only launched through this submarines rest of the submarines are not capable whereas in term of pakistan ,have all conventional submarines and Babur-III launched from any of these without any modification.Pakistan doesn’t have nuclear powered submarine.while coming to range Indian missile has wide range as compare to pakistan’s missile.From both sides this project will take 10-15 years.[22]

    Future scenarios of Naval Upgradation in Pakistan

    Pakistan has signed agreement with Germany to buy ATR-72 which is basically plane spotter and there are chances that pakistan navy convert it into Anti-ship warfare and this will allow it to proficient of Anti-ship wrafare plateform.In coming years Pakistan will upgrade it with airborne surviellance radar.[23]Pakistan has also inaugurated its Pakistan Airbase(PAF) in Bholari which is situated in Karachi.It is operational now and this base will play a supportive role both for land and sea.Though Pakistan is lagging behind India but Pakistan still able to tackle India.This will deliver aerial defese to our land and side by side will also protect China-Pakistan economic corridor(CPEC) project[24]In future ahead cooperation of China and Pakistan will help to modernize Pakistan’s naval assets.

    Conclusion

    Introduction of nukes in Indian ocean has raised new multi challenges for Pakistan. Despite of Pakistan wish to keep waters clean from nuclear weapons, India has taken first step to furthur complicate the strategic enviroment of South Asia. Though Pakistan is in the process of development of possible counters, however over all such developments will initiate a cold war type competion between India and Pakistan thus creating arms race. Though idea of sea based ‘’assured second strike’’ capability may serve as major deterrent factor to avoid all out conflict but development of other conventional naval build up might increase friction in the context of Arabian Sea – Indian ocean security paradigm.Pakistan and India are traditional rivals. They have apprehensions from each other which are deep rooted. The Indian Ocean is the most significant and relevant water body. It has political, economic, security and energy imperatives for whole world. It is the global trade route encompassing oil and energy trade which is the driving force of whole world’s industry. The Indian Ocean is the theatre of new game for global powers. There are various rivals in competition for influence.Indian designs are to become a global power with active role in every sphere. It has a first priority to compete Chinese influence. Pakistan has a main security threat from India. Its foreign policy has long been hostage to this threat. The rivalry, which reached to the nuclearization of both states may reach Indian Ocean as Pakistan has always been in quest of balancing the power as against India.Pakistan needs robust efforts to achieve security in Indian Ocean to safeguard its interests.

    [1]Pejsova,Eva, “Scrambling for the Indian Ocean”, European union institute of strategic studies,2016

    [2]“Strategic importance of Indian Ocean”,Himfact,2015,


    [3]“Militarization in the Indian Ocean Region” ,Indian Defense Forum,2015

    [4]Jaishankar,Dhruva, “Indian Ocean Region: A pivot for India’s growth”, Brookings institution India center,2016

    [5]“Militarization in the Indian Ocean”, Indian Defense Forum,2015

    [6]Ibid.

    [7]Albert, Eleanor, “competition in the Indian Ocean”, council on foreign affairs,2016

    [8] Masood khan,Sardar, “Indian Ocean Region: Strategies and challenges”, Pakistan observer,2016

    [9]“Emerging Challenges in Indian ocean pose serious threat to Pakistan’s security interest”, Pakistan today,Islamabd,2017

    [10]Qamar Fatima,Asmajamshed, “The political and Economic significance of Indian Ocean: An analysis, A research journal of South Asian Studies,2015

    [11]“Indian Ocean maritime security challenges: Is Pakistan ready”,Times of Islamabad, 2017

    [12]Muhammad Azam Khan, “Aman 17 and Balance of power in Indian ocean”, The News,2017

    [13]Ibid.

    [14]Usman Ansari, “Pakistan Seeks To Energize Naval Modernization”, Defense News, 2015

    [15]Bilal khan, “The Pakistan Navy 2016 and beyond”, QUWA (Defense News and Analysis group)

    [16]“Why India’s ‘Blue Water’ Ambitions Matter”. Archived from the original on 2014-11-23.

    [17]“India’s Growing Unmanned Naval Fleet“. Archived from the original on 2014-10-30.

    [18]Franz-Stefan Gady, “Confirmed: India’s Next Aircraft Carrier Will Be Nuclear”, 2016.

    [19] VIVEK BHARDWAJ, “TOP 10 Most Advanced Upcoming Projects,Future,Indian Navy”, 2015.

    [20]Adrian Levy, “India Is Building a Top-Secret Nuclear City to Produce Thermonuclear Weapons”, Foreign Policy Magazine, 2015.

    [21]Sardar Masood Khan, “Indian Ocean Region: stratregies and challenges”, Pakistan Observer, 2015.

    [22]Zarnab Tahir, “Deterrence and second strike capability of South Asia”, Center for Strategic and contemporary Research,2017

    [23]Bilal khan, “Is it finally the Pakistan’s Navy turn”, QUWA, Defense news and analysis group, 2015

    [24]“PAF inaugurates new operational air base at Bholari near Karachi”, 2017

    https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/07/...ndian-ocean-and-its-implications-on-pakistan/
     
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  2. -=virus=-

    -=virus=- BANNED

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    So Pakistan is looking to offset the economic and naval power imbalance with India by betting on the CPEC and the Gwadar port, which will eventually host a permanent PLA-N presence ?

    How would such a scenario play out politically in Pakistan, would people be happy with a permanent Chinese military presence ? Will the Sino - Pak relationship culminate in a mini "treaty organization" or agreement ?

    CIPATA.. China Pakistan treaty agreement.

    The US are all over the middle east with lots of troops and assets deployed, airbases, naval bases.. the works. China needs a presence at least within striking distance of the strait of Hormuz. If for nothing else than to maintain a posture.

    On paper this looks like a win-win, but there might be a heavy price to pay for antagonizing the US as far as Pak is concerned.
     
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  3. PDF

    PDF STAFF

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    We will do whatever we can and deem fit to protect out interests. We have antagonized many countries in the past and we might antagonize many in the future, but if it as a consequence of events due to our safegaurding of national interests, then so be it.
     
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  4. xyx007

    xyx007 FULL MEMBER

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    We learned this lesson in 1971 when US naval took 20 days to reach for our support. Who knows better than anyone else and understand the difference very well between regional vs distance support in the middle of the war.
     
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  5. -=virus=-

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    Understandable, but Pakistan is already a designated major non NATO ally of the US.

    Must tread carefully here with just how much the US can be antagonized.

    PAF main fleet is the F-16s, and that is just one of many areas where the US could play hardball if they feel the need.

    Should there be a total collapse in the US - Pak relationship as it relates to a permanent PLA-N presence in Gwadar, does the Pakistani establishment trust China enough to pick up the slack ?

    Embargoed heavily and totally cut off like Iran was after the Shah was overthrown by the Mullahs, the Iranians are still flying those tomcats, which is kind of cool tbh. Completely different scenario here of course but will it be worth it to keep your F-16s flying with Chinese avionics, weapons etc upgrades for the remaining lifespans of those airframes if Pak is forced to choose between the 2 giants ?

    China obviously have a lot of goodwill with the Pakistani people, the Americans are loathed but policy makers must take a more objective and pragmatic view of things.

    Overall imo (which doesn't count for much in the big bad world of real geopolitics lol).. better America with their 'freedom and democracy' ideals than the authoritarian CCP if one of the two must play sheriff on the planet.

    Tough balancing act for Pakistan coming up.. the way US and Chinese relations have nosedived lately, you're caught in the middle a lot more than India is.

    When are the CPEC and Gwadar port expected to be operationalized ?
     
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  6. Chakar The Great

    Chakar The Great SENIOR MEMBER

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    CPEC is an economic corridor in full swing. This link will tell you how operational it is http://cpec.gov.pk
     
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  7. Patriot786b2

    Patriot786b2 FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistan really needs economic power boost than invest in 1 Type 75 aircraft carrier to monitor region..but I know this is dream or fantasy !
     
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  8. Akh1112

    Akh1112 FULL MEMBER

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    Its unrealistic to assume Pakistan will allow any forms of Chinese Naval Presence at Gwadar, however, it could be an interesting take, if allowed, it would be another step towards deterring any Indian attacks on Gwadar. However, the main use of PLAN Carriers are currently in the heavily contested SCS, i dont really see any expeditionary missions beyond the SCS, maybe somewhere in the Indian Ocean however, China atm does not have the fleet size/ wont do for a while to be able to sustain such a venture. Id sincerely hope Pakistan does not place its ball in either court, however, instead, it plays itself neutral having great relations with both powers. If we learnt one thing from the past, its that no alliance is permanent. The US ditched us, China will too, matter of when, not if. We need to play it safe so we do not get fcked again.
     
  9. Figaro

    Figaro SENIOR MEMBER

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    I don't think China would ditch Pakistan ... if they just viewed Pakistan as a partner of convenience, then why invest 62 billion dollars into something like CPEC?
     
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  10. Akh1112

    Akh1112 FULL MEMBER

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    Well, i guess ditch was the wrong word. I just dont think CPEC is as great as it is shown out to be. The deals are questionable and are VERY one sided, its riddled with corruption, the projects are delayed and behind and its also a bad model for development, its kinda sad really. I think CPEC could have been good if executed correctly and if it was fair, however, it wasnt and probably wont be good, we will just have a buttload of infrastructure that is under utilised and hefty loan repayments we cant afford as this new infrastructure makes us no money.
     
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  11. khansaheeb

    khansaheeb ELITE MEMBER

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    There is no need for a Chinese permanent presence at Gwadar, Pak Navy is more than sufficient to protect the seas and keep Indian Navy at bay. However because of China-Pak friendship Chinese Navy vessels will be facilitated at Gwadar.
     
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  12. Hakikat ve Hikmet

    Hakikat ve Hikmet ELITE MEMBER

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    India has endured whatever is good for her is bad for Pak! Therefore, it’s easy to draw the inference from Pak’s side....
     
  13. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

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    Great article. Pakistan for past 70 years chose to ignore its Navy. But now it has started to grow although it would still take time. What I am hoping and praying for is this growth includes induction of several big Destroyers an8d Frigates and Submarines with VLS to carry and fire long range Cruise Missiles. Yes Yes Yes I sound repetitive and maybe childish to some but if you don't have a good aggressive Navy against India you can not only face Naval blockade but also say goodbye to your cities like Karachi and Gawader.

    People also tell me that in entire 1200 KM of coastline only 3 places which are Karachi and Omara and Gawader feasible for Naval bases. I say with China's help we can make at least two more places fully feasible to have a massive Naval base.

    @PDF @Moonlight @The Eagle
     
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  14. PakFactor

    PakFactor SENIOR MEMBER

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    Major Non NATO Ally has no meaning or purpose, it’s basically a sticker saying thank you that’s about it. We lost more with that token sticker than without it.
     
  15. Issam

    Issam FULL MEMBER

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    However, the same could be said to the US which has given at least 78.3 Billion dollars worth of aid to Pakistan since Independence till 2016. So all in all, anything could happen be it with China, the US or any other future prospecting lenders to Pakistan. At the end of the day Pakistan must be able to capitalize on such investments and use them wisely if it wants to avoid becoming a ping pong ball in the future geopolitics of the region.