Advertisement

Updated December 28th, 2023 at 16:28 IST

China's potential military base in Pakistan draws global concerns for Indian Ocean security

As Pakistan faces internal challenges marked by protests in PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan, the nation looks to strengthen ties with its strategic partner, China.

Yuvraj Tyagi
Chinese Army
Pakistan is eyeing the possibility of increased collaboration, including military cooperation with China to safeguard shared strategic interests | Image:AP
Advertisement

In the midst of internal challenges, Pakistan is eyeing potential support from its strategic partner, China. The ongoing protests in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan have prompted concerns about potential military actions by India, creating a backdrop for increased collaboration between China and Pakistan, especially in safeguarding their shared strategic interests, which might involve military cooperation. 

A recent report from the Washington-based US Institute of Peace highlights the increasing likelihood of China projecting military power over the Indian Ocean from Pakistan's western coast. The Chinese presence in the region, particularly in the context of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), raises concerns about potential military basing, as indicated by meaningful support within Pakistan's strategic circles. 

Advertisement

Gwadar emerges as a potential Chinese military base 

Speculations abound as reports suggest that the Pentagon has identified Pakistan, with Gwadar as a likely site, as a potential location for a Chinese military base. Open-source satellite imagery analysis reveals Chinese complexes in Gwadar with unusually high security, sparking debates about the true nature of China's interests in the region and the potential militarization of port facilities.

Advertisement
A Pakistani soldier stands guard in front of a Chinese ship at Gwadar Port. | Credit- AP

The complex geopolitical situation is further complicated by the Taliban's reluctance to rein in the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), raising concerns about the possibility of a joint military operation by China and Pakistan. While some argue that Gwadar may evolve into a PLA Navy base, others believe its military utility for China in peacetime could revolve around repairs, refueling, and logistical support. 

Nullifying the Durand Line on cards? 

As China's potential support for Pakistan faces challenges, diplomatic efforts, nuanced negotiations, and regional cooperation become crucial. Preserving territorial integrity in the face of internal and external pressures may require Pakistan to consider concessions, such as granting autonomy to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, nullifying the Durand Line, and promoting free trade by opening borders.

Durand Line. | Credit- AP

In navigating these uncharted waters of geopolitical intricacies, it becomes imperative for the involved nations to prioritize dialogue and collaboration. Sustainable solutions lie in diplomatic channels, fostering regional cooperation, and addressing multifaceted challenges collectively. The evolving dynamics in the region necessitate a careful balance to ensure stability and peace amidst the shifting alliances and geopolitical uncertainties. 

Advertisement

Published December 28th, 2023 at 16:28 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Whatsapp logo