18th May 2015, 05:16 PM
Geo-Strategic Importance of Pakistan
Geo-Strategic Importance of Pakistan
2. Pakistan geographical location
3. Strategic significance:
a) - Proximity of great powers
b) - Gateway to central Asia- oil and energy game
c) - Significance as a transit economy
d) - Significance as an important link in the chain of Muslim countries
e) - Only Muslim country having nuclear capability
4. Conclusions/ Analysis
Pakistan is located at a region which has great political, economic and strategic location. It has been hub of activities of great powers for last 20 years. It has witnessed intervention of three great powers i.e Britain, USSR, and USA. Its significance was further enhanced during cold war when it becomes ally of US policy of containment of USSR and now the post cold war era has witnessed its significance particularly after the events of 9/11.
2- PAKISTAN GEOGRAPHICALLY LOCATION:
Location: Southern Asia lies between 24 and 36.75 northern latitude and between 61 and 7505 eastern longitude.
Area: 7, 96000 sq.km.
Neighbours: Towards north apart from the state of Kashmir is China. It shares 400 km long boarder with china.
Towards north Tajikistan though no boarder but a narrow strip as Wahkhan strip separate the two.
Towards east, Punjab-Rajasthan boarders which is 1650 km long
Towards west, Afghanistan and Durand line of 2250 km.
Towards south, Arabian and Indian sea. Coastal belt is about 700 km.
Pakistan significance is enhanced as it lies near the Persian Gulf where 65% of the world’s oil is produced.
3- STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE:
a) Proximity of great powers:
Pakistan is located at the junction of great powers. In its neighbor’s one world power Russia and the other emerging power china lies. Any alliance among world powers enhances its significance. This factor has been utilized by Pakistan after 9/11. Security and business are two main US interests in the region while Pakistan is playing a front line role in the war against terrorism. Apart from this US interest in the region to contain the growing china, nuclear Iran, terrorist Afghanistan and to benefit from the market of India. Today the political scenario of the region is tinged with preemption policy and US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran’s nuclear program, India’s geopolitical muscles (new strategic deal with US) to gain hegemony and to counter the rise of china. Which has earned all the qualities to change unipoler world into bipolar world? In all these issues, Pakistan is directly or indirectly involved especially after al-Qeada operations. The American think tank has repeatedly accepted that war against terrorism could never be won without the help of Pakistan. Pakistan has rigorously fought and an ongoing operation in Waziristan is also targeting the suspected Taliban in the bordering area.
b) Gateway to central Asia-(oil and energy game):
Central Asia is the center stage of new Great games. Quest for resources- oil and energy resources- holds the central point in their policies towards the central Asia. After USSR decline, new quest started which is manifested in their politics towards acquiring oil and gas. Pakistan is located very close to the oil rich Middle Eastern countries. The belt starts from Iran and is extended to the southern tip of Arabian Peninsula with Saudi Arabia as the chief exporter of the oil in the world. Thus, Pakistan can play an influential role in the shipment of oil. Iran is struggling to export its surplus gas and oil to eastern countries. Qatar, Pakistan and Turkmenistan pipeline projects also highlight the country’s pivotal position.
In the energy scarce world, Pakistan is located in the hub of energy rich countries i-e Iran and Afghanistan: both are energy abundant while India and china are lacking.
Geostrategic significance of the country increases manifolds while under the fact that China finds short way to Indian Ocean and Arabian sea through Karakoram highway,
c) Significance as a Transit economy:
Pakistan has the potential to develop transit economy on account of its strategic location. Land locked Afghanistan now is at the phase of reconstruction. It is linked to outside world mainly through Pakistan. China with its fastest economy growth rate of 9% (now slowed down to 7.3% yet still appreciably significant) is developing southern provinces because its own part is 4500 km away from Sinkiang but Gwader is 2500 km away. Moreover, Pakistan offers Central Asian regions the shortest route of 2600 km as compared to Iran 4500 km or Turkey 5000 km. Gwader port with its deep waters attracts the trade ships from China, CAR and South East Asian countries, also the coastal belt of Balochistan can provide outlet to china’s western provinces to have access to middles eastern markets with the development of coastal highways and motorways.
d) Important link in the chain of Muslim countries:
If we look at the map of Muslim countries, Pakistan occupies a central location. Towards west of Iran, china extends to North Africa. Thus it can actively participate in the activities of Muslim world-economic development, transport of resources and above all combat terrorism.
e) Only Muslim country with nuclear capability:
In the region Pakistan is the only Muslim country having nuclear capability which has great influence on the political, socio-economic activities in the region and the maintenance of status-quo in the region.
4- CONCLUSION / ANALYSIS:
Pakistan is a junction of south Asia, west Asia and central Asia; a way from resource efficient countries to resource deficient countries. The world is facing energy crises and terrorism. Pakistan is a route for transportation and a front line state against terrorism. Moreover Pakistan has been traditionally ally of emerging economic giant; china. So in the vague of any change in world politics, Pakistan’s geo-strategic significance would further be enhanced.
18th May 2015, 05:17 PM
“While history has been unkind to Pakistan, its geography has been its greatest benefit. It has resource rich area in the north-west, people rich in the north-east.”
20th June 2015, 03:41 PM
Geo-Strategic Importance of Pakistan
“Geostrategic means the importance of a country or a region as by virtue of its geographical location.”
The geographical significance of a country plays a pivotal role in the world politics for that country. It marks that how critically beneficial is the country to the other countries in social, economic and political respects.
Geographical Location of Pakistan:
Pakistan is located in South East Asia. It lies between 24.35 and 37.05 Northern latitude and between 61 and 75.05 Eastern longitude. Total area is 796096 sq. km. In geographical terms, it is surrounded by four countries; Afghanistan, Iran, India and China, each of which is a major player in international politics.
Geostrategic Significance of Pakistan:
“While history has been unkind to Pakistan, its geography has been its greatest benefit. It has resources rich area in the northwest, people rich in the North East.”
By Stephen Cohn
1. Proximity of great powers:
Pakistan is located at the junction of great powers. In its neighbor’s one world power Russia and the other emerging power China lies. Any alliance among world powers enhances its significance. Pakistan is playing a front line role in the war against terrorism. US interest in the region to contain the growing China, nuclear Iran, and terrorist Afghanistan and to benefit from the market of India. US interest is to counter the “The Rise of China” which has earned all the qualities to change unipolar world into bipolar world. In all these issues Pakistan is directly or indirectly involved.
2. Significance as a transit economy:
China with its fastest economy growth rate of 9%; is developing its southern provinces because its own parts are 4500 km away from Sinkiang but Gwader is 2500km away. Moreover, Pakistan offers Central Asia regions the shortest route of 2600km as compared to Iran 4500km or Turkey 5000km, Gwadar port with its deep waters attracts the trade ships of China, CAR and South East Asia countries. Once complete, Gwader will be ranked as the world’s largest deep sea port. China is growing rapidly as the world’s supreme economy through its trade and exports all around the world. And Pakistan is very important for China for this purpose.
3. Gateway to Central Asia (Oil & Energy games):
Situated in South Asia, Pakistan is a gateway to control Asia and its Arabia Sea provides easy access to the countries of the Middle East. It lies in the neighbourhood of China and India which due to their huge markets are supposed to be economic giants of future. Pakistan is the only direct and shortest link between China and the Middle East. Gulf states possessing 93% of World’s oil resources. In development of this link Pakistan plays an important role by making Gwader a fully functional part with support of China.
4. Important link in the chain of Muslim countries:
Geographically, Pakistan is situated in the centre of the Islamic countries of Africa and Asia. Thus it can actively participate in the activities of Muslim world’s economic development, transport of resources and above all combat terrorism.
5. Only Muslim Country with Nuclear Capability
Pakistan’s strategic position in the world has been considerably increased ever since it has achieved nuclear capability, which has made it the only Muslim country armed with atomic weapons. Pakistan is a poor country confronting countless problems and facing grave energy shortages but even then, its nuclear power has significantly elevated its importance in the international community.
A historian has perhaps rightly said that “In almost 80 years since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, if any work mentioning incident took place in the whole Muslim world, it was May 1988, when Pakistan carried out its nuclear explosions.
6. Natural Resources:
It is believed that they most vital factor which can be helpful for any country is the natural resources. And Pakistan is a world’s populous country due to its natural resources. Pakistan has the world’s fifth largest gold mine in Baluchistan, world’s second largest salt mine in Punjab and world’s sixth coal mine also in Punjab. Pakistan has three of the biggest mountains of the world. It is said that these mountain ranges serve us safe from Siberia winds. The huge glaciers supply water in the rivers. Our huge market makes it an avid hub for export of the commodities by our neighbours.
7. Importance of Gwader Port:
History shows that Russia had exhibited its curiosity to attain warm water seaport and to counter the growing supremacy of us in the region and on the globe as well. They wanted to have a port which will help them directly counter the intrusion of any state to capture or create threat to Russia. For this the two main parts of this South Asian region, the Gwader port and the Chahbahar port of Iran were the vital ones. Being the 3rd largest country by area on the globe and 2nd in Asia, China does not have any hot water port which it can use for its trade throughout the year to multiply its economy. For this China is looking very keenly to operationalize the Gwader port to full extent which will help in its trade and economy throughout the year.
8. War against Terrorism:
The world is facing a huge problem of terrorism. Pakistan is a route for transportation and a front line state against terrorism. Afghanistan which is now the focus of world’s attention is generally regarded as the breeding ground of all the international terrorism. Now, the US and Nato troops fighting in Afghanistan are well aware that they are heavily dependent on Pakistan for winning war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has other neighbours also such as Iran, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, but Pakistan provides the easiest route for the provision of NATO Supplies to the forces in Afghanistan.
The American think tank has repeatedly accepted that war against terrorism could never be won without the help of Pakistan. Pakistan has rigorously fought and an ongoing operation in Waziristan is also targeting the suspected Taliban in the bordering area.
There is no doubt that Pakistan has a great importance in the world. But it is the fact that Pakistan is a developing country and has many issues like energy crises, terrorism etc. the famous American Scholar Stephen Cohen while remonstrating on the thought patter of most of the people of Pakistan, point out that “The establishment is prone to thinking that someone will always come to Pakistan’s rescue because of its location.” This kind of thinking must be shed away and we have to learn to rely on our own resources which proliferate in Pakistan.
19th May 2016, 08:32 AM
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