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Why developments in Gwadar are so important for Pakistan, India and China?

Gwadar port in Pakistan's Balochistan region is currently being developed by China to bypass parts of Arabian Sea dominated by Indian Navy. Pakistan often accuses India of supporting terrorist groups in Balochistan to attack Pakistani Army and its assets.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: May 11, 2019 21:08 IST
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Image Source : AP (FILE)

Gwadar port holds key to a major geopolitical game in South Asia.

In Pakistan, Punjab has been the province that has often come to dominate its national politics. A large chunk of Pakistan Army officials, politicians and administrative officers hail from Punjab. Though Punjab's importance in Pakistani politics remains unchanged, port city of Gwadar is faraway Balochistan region has increasingly come into focus not just in Pakistan, but in regional inter-state politics.

Gwadar port is currently being developed by China as a part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which in turn, is a part of China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) project. Through Gwadar, China is trying hard to secure a friendly base in Arabian Sea which is considered to be in the sphere of influence of Indian Navy.

India Tv - Location of Gwadar is denoted by the red marker in the map.

Image Source : GOOGLE MAPS

Location of Gwadar is denoted by the red marker in the map.

Not just Gwadar, China is also developing a rail and road network which will connect the port to the northern tip of Pakistan and subsequently, chinese region of Xinjiang. In other words, China will be able to bypass seas dominated by the Indian Navy and will be able to supply goods to impoverished regions in eastern China which are very far away from Chinese capital and megacities.

Gwadar gives China easy access to Strait of Hormuz through which global oil trade takes place.

Problems in Balochistan 

Balochistan region is formally administered by Pakistan but a strong resentment exists in the local population against the Pakistani rule. Locals have often picked up arms and attacked Pakistani Army which they claim has "occupied" their homeland. Many armed groups have organised attacks against the Pakistani state. 

Gwadar falls in Balochistan.

Chinese presence in Gwadar has increased tensions in the region as local population perceives it as another attempt by the Pakistani state to assert its power over it.

Pakistan has often accused India of supporting armed groups in Balochistan against Pakistani Army. 

To counter Chinese influence in Gawadar, India is developing Chabahar port in Iran. Chabahar is closer to strait of Hormuz than Gwadar and can prove a vital port to serve Indian strategic interests in Afghanistan.

Read | Terrorists storm hotel Pearl Continental in Pakistan's Gwadar | Latest Updates

Read | China set to deploy 1 lakh marine corps at ports in Gwadar and Djibouti: Report

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