Pakistan’s aspirations for oil and gas prospecting off its Makran coast, south-western Balochistan, are diverging from those of China, which has had a nearly two-decade long presence in Gwadar as an infrastructure provider. To turn Gwadar into the petrochemical hub it desires, Pakistan has sought out other benefactors, changing geopolitical equations in the region
Gwadar has lain in relative obscurity since 1958 when Oman sold it to Pakistan. It was only 50 years later that the Chinese ‘rediscovered’ it. Pakistan and China have much to learn from the British experience of this strategic asset
Is China actively building up its maritime presence in the Arabian Sea, to dominate vital sea lanes and perhaps encircle India with a chain of naval bases? There can be little doubt that China views Gwadar as a potentially useful asset. China, however, will know better than anyone that Gwadar has two considerable limitations.
Both Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visit China this week. However, their objectives are different. Antony visits China to bring up security issues in the aftermath of the Depsang incursion, while Sharif makes his visit in hope of bettering his flailing economy