Gwadar port: Indian concerns
PAKISTAN formally agreed to hand over the operation of its strategically-located Gwadar port to China. India is much concerned at the handing over the port to China by Pakistan. India is concerned over China’s investments in the Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Every country has its own right to develop independent ports. Gwadar has its strategic importance.
Gwadar is Pakistan’s third port. If exploited to its fullest, it has the potential of becoming one of the most important ports in the Middle East and Central Asian region. It would connect China with the oil-rich Arab countries.
It is a warm-water port. It operates throughout the year. It is a deep seaport, and can handle large ships. It can connect India and China — the two most populous countries — directly to the Middle East.
According to Arthur D. Little (Malaysia), the main consultant firm of the Gwadar development phases, low-cost land and labour are available, there is proximity to oil and gas resources and Gulf countries, there are some agricultural and mineral resources, while there could be tax-free status for investments and trade. The the Gwadar Port is expected to generate billions of dollars in revenues and create at least two million jobs.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, said Gwadar is a commercial project, part of longstanding bilateral cooperation. China will actively support any programme that benefits China-Pakistan relations and the prosperity of Pakistan.
It is a fact that India doesn’t want to see prosperity in Pakistan. Well-said by the Pakistan foreign ministry that the port was none of India’s business.
BASIT BASHIR KHAN