Articles CSS CSS Notes Pakistan Affairs

Geo Strategic Significance of Pakistan CSS, PMS Notes – Part 1

Geo Strategic Significance of Pakistan

Geo- Strategic means importance of a country or a region as by virtue of its geographical location. Geo political is defined as, stressing the influence of geographic factors on the state power, international conduct and advantages it derives from its location.

  • Geopolitical reflects the combination of geographic and political factors determining the condition of a state or region, and emphasizing the impact of geography on politics”
  • Strategic refers to the comprehensive and planned     application of measures to achieve a central goal or to vital assets of military significance”
  • Geo-strategic merges strategic consideration with    geopolitical ones” Like NATO is a geostrategic military alliance

Pakistan is located at a region which is located a region which has a great economic, political and strategic location. It has been the hub of great activities for the past twenty years. Stephen Cohn describes this importance “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.” 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 crisis and terrorism. Pakistan is a route for transportation, and a front line state against terrorism. Pakistan has witnessed the intervention of three great powers Britons, U.S.S.R and U.S. Its significance is further enhanced during the cold war when it became the alley of the U.S policy of containment of U.S.S.R and now the post cold war era has witnessed its significance politically after the event of 9/11.

Pakistan’s Geographical Location:

Pakistan is located in southern Asia. It is located between 24 and 36.5 Northern latitude and between 61 and 75.5 eastern latitude. The area of Pakistan is estimated at 803,940 square kilometers. Pakistan is the bridge between South Asia and South West Asia.

 

Towards the North western part of Pakistan there lies Afghanistan. Pakistan’s boundary with Afghanistan is about 2,250 kilometers long. In the north, it runs along the ridges of the Hindu Kush (meaning Hindu Killer) mountains and the Pamirs, where a narrow strip of Afghan territory called the Wakhan Corridor extends between Pakistan and Tajikistan. This strip is about 16 to 25 kilometers long. The boundary line between Pakistan and Afghanistan is called Durand Line and it was drawn by Sir Mortimer Durand in 1893 and he was the foreign sectary of British India and was acceded to by the ameer of Afghanistan that same year. It was not in doubt when Pakistan became independent in 1947, although its legitimacy was in later years disputed periodically by the Afghan government as well as by Pakhtun tribes straddling the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. On the one hand, Afghanistan claimed that the Durand Line had been imposed by a stronger power upon a weaker one, and it favored the establishment of still another state to be called Pashtunistan or Pakhtunistan. On the other hand, Pakistan, as the legatee of the British in the region, insisted on the legality and permanence of the boundary. The Durand Line remained in effect in 1994.

In the northeastern tip of the country, Pakistan controls about 84,159 square kilometers of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. This area, consisting of Azad Kashmir (11,639 square kilometers) and most of the Northern Areas (72,520 square kilometers), which includes Gilgit and Baltistan, is the most visually stunning of Pakistan. The Northern Areas has five of the world’s seventeen highest mountains. It also has such extensive glaciers that it has sometimes been called the “third pole.” The boundary line has been a matter of pivotal dispute between

Proximity to great powers:-

  • Russia and China are busy to give check to US Power in this region and in

other regions like Middle East, Africa, North America, Europe and Far East ASIA

  • US interests in this Region
  1. Security
  • Policy of Pax –Americana in order to restraint world dynamics from Uni-polarity to multi-polarity
  • US interest in the region to contain the growing china, nuclear Iran, terrorist Afghanistan
  1. Business
  • To benefit from the market of India and Central Asia

Gateway to Central Asia

  • Central Asia is the center stage of new Great games
  • Western quest for resources- oil and energy resources in the central Asia
  • Pakistan is located very close to the oil rich M.E region and C.A States
  • Pakistan can influence shipment of oil
  • Iran is struggling to export its surplus gas and oil to Eastern countries,
  • Qatar, Pakistan and Turkmenistan pipeline projects highlight the position
  • In this scare energy world, Pakistan can provide access from energy efficient to energy deficient state

Significance as a Transit Economy

  • Land locked Afghanistan now at the phase of reconstruction
  • China with its fastest economy growth rate of 9% GDP developing southern provinces because its own part is 4500 km away from Sinkiang but Gawader is 2500 km away
  • Pakistan offers central Asian regions the shortest route of 2600 km as compared to Iran 4500 km or turkey 5000 km
  • Gwadar Port with its deep waters attracts the trade ships of china, CAR and south east Asian countries

Important Link in the Chain of Muslim

Countries

  • Geographically, Pakistan is situated at the centre of the Islamic countries of Africa and Asia
  • It is linked to these Muslim states through land and sea routes and thus not only its ideological background, but its geographical centrality necessities that it supports the unity of Muslim world
  • Prior to the cessation of East Pakistan, it was the largest Islamic state and naturally was in the vanguard of the movement for Islamic unity
  • Even afterwards, it actively works for the mutual alliance and unity of the Muslims

China’s link to the Middle East

  • Pakistan is the only direct and shortest link between

China and the Middle East

  • Gulf States possessing 63% of world’s oil reserves
  • In development of this link PN plays an important role by making Gwadar a fully functional port with support  of china
  • Gwadar will prove instrumental in promoting trans- shipment essentially of containerized cargo besides unlocking the development potential for hinter land

7.Reduce Indian hegemony in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean

  • India has a shared interests with the U.S and NATO in the subjection of Pakistan
  • As they consider Nuclear weapons of Pakistan as a threat to Indian national security, NATO operations in Afghanistan, and Israel
  • Pakistan have signed nuclear deterrence since 1998 Pakistan termed its nuclear bomb as “ISLAMIC BOMB” that made it centre of attention in the world politics
  • The U.S, NATO, Israel, and India to neutralize such a strategic and tactical threat from emerging in Pakistan
  • They have made plan underpinned objective of Balkanizing Pakistan
  • It’s the reason on that the US has conspired with international media against PAK NUKES
  • Most importantly Pakistan has world’s best missile technology and perceived enemies capitals are in Pakistan range

Conclusion:-

  • Stephen Cohn describes geostrategic importance of Pakistan in these words,
“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”
  • 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 crisis and terrorism. Pakistan is a route for transportation, and a front line state against terrorism

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