Chabahar Port and its Implication for Pakistan

India and Iran have signed a historical deal regarding the Chabahar Port in Iran. According to which, India will Invest on the port Chabahar and strengthen its logistics through the Indian Ocean to Caucasus and Central Asian Region (CAR).

The port has a multitude of  implications in the region, as India seems to have challenged the trade route dominance of China. In this article, we would try to expand our area of analysis to evaluate the future contours of Chabahar port in South Asia, CAR, Caucasus, and the Middle-East.

As China has already established a strong foot-hold in global trade, and is expanding its influence through reviving the Silk Road as Belt Road Initiative (BRI), the USA is worried as it is seeing China as a revisionist power who is potentially threatening the global dominance of the USA. 

To counter the forthcoming influence of China, the USA has partnered with India in South Asia and the Indian Ocean. Therefore, the USA and India are jointly maximizing the muscles in the Indian Ocean, driven by the formation of new alliances such as QUAD and AUKUS. 

Amid the fierce competition in Asia, India has signed a deal with Iran to have its access on the trade route from Chabahar to CAR and Caucasus. This development is a matter of concerns for China and Pakistan, as China has invested heavily in the development of Gwadar Port and CPEC.

The economic consequences of Chabahar ports are multifaceted. First, the port will enable India to provide an alternative route to landlocked Afghanistan who imports via Karachi Port, Pakistan. The development of Chabahar port will lessen the dependency of Afghanistan on Pakistan for its trade. 

Secondly, Armenia has already implied the recent Chabahar port as conducive for the future relationship of Armenia and India. Armenia is another landlocked country in the Caucasus region; the region that links the Caspian sea and Black Sea. Moreover, Armenia would also look to access the defense technology of India.

Moreover, the Chabahar port is also seen as countering China’s Naval dominance in the Indian Ocean. Because India has augmented its military presence as well vis-a-vis China by militarizing the Adamand and Narcobo Island, its military presence in the gulf of Oman would be ensured through Chabahar port. 

To conclude, the recent development of Chabahar port could be worrisome for Pakistan and China, as the presence of India amid ongoing development of BRI and Gwadar port is a potential risk in the region. 

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