Wednesday, 6 February 2013

India overreacting on Gwadar port issue

India seems to be suffering from a tendency of making unnecessary hue and cry on any action taken by Pakistan, even if it is purely of commercial nature.

This point was proved once again when Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony said, “China's role in operating a strategically important port in Pakistan is a matter of concern for India”.

However, Salman Khurshid, Indian Foreign Minister later tried to pacify by saying there was no need to overreact to Pakistan’s transferring the management of Gwadar port to China from Singapore.

"I don't think we should overreact to everything that Pakistan does or everything that China is involved in. We need to take these matters in our stride and in the normal course," said Khurshid. He added, "There is a delicate balance in the entire region and I think none of us should be doing something which will upset that balance."

Transfer of management control of Gwadar port to China has become matter of concern India because it considers the port, which is close to the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil shipping lane will open up an energy and trade corridor from the Gulf, across Pakistan to western China. India also believes that China will get the capacity to deploy its forces in the region.

To be honest, transferring control of Gwadar port to China should be of no concern to India, it is Pakistan’s prerogative. The country signed a deal with Singapore that didn't work out as desired. Singapore's PSA International and the Chinese have settled the deal amicably and give no opportunity to any country to even discuss the issue.

China has already made clear that Gwadar is a commercial project and part of longstanding bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Historically, China has been supporting Pakistan to overcome its economic woes, especially in the areas Pakistan faces opposition from the United States.

It is pertinent to mention that the United States refused to treat Pakistan at par with India when the question of transfer of nuclear technology for civilian use came. India was given this technology as reward for not participating in Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

It is also on record that the United States has not stopped India from constructing Chabahar port in Iran and also the rail and road link up to Central Asia passing through Afghanistan. Chabahar port is located even closer to the Strait of Hormuz.

Experts are of the consensus that the United States has been busy in creating its hegemony in South Asia and MENA (Middle East and North Africa). To achieve this it has joined hands with India and promoting its as regional super power.

Construction of Chabahar port is aimed at undermining importance of Pakistan and especially Gwadar port. India is often alleged of supporting rebel groups of Balochistan, which are demanding transferring control of Gwadar port to the provincial government.

A lot of money is required to make Gwadar port efficient and cost effective and the provincial government does not have the funds. It must be recalled that China has extended funds and technical support in the contraction of this deep sea commercial port and also willing to extend more funds, may be this is not liked by India and United States.

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