Geo Strategic Importance of Pakistan
Geo strategic means importance of a country or a region as with respect to its geographical location. Geo political is defined as, stressing the influence of geographic factors on the state power, international conduct and benefits it derives from its location.The word geopolitics was originally coined by Swedish Political Scientist RODULF KEJELLEN about the turn of 20th century.
Pakistan is located at a region which has a great economic, political and strategic location.Pakistan is located in Southern Asia and aslo work as a bridge between South Asia and west Asia. It has been the hub of great economic and strategic activities for the past twenty years. .An American Political Scientist Stephen Philip Cohen describes this importance in his book The Idea of Pakistan “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 north east.” Pakistan is link between South Asia, West Asia and Central Asia, a way from resource efficient countries to resource deficient countries with respect to trade and other strategic matters.
The world is facing energy crisis, covid-19 pandemic and terrorism. Pakistan is a route for transportation due to Gawadar Port which has great significance regarding CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) and also due to Jinnah International Airport which is located at significant location regarding cargo flights. Afghanistan has no sea so it use the way of Pakistan for trading through Turkham Border.Pakistan aslo gives its services for NATO Supply(North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Pakistan is also a front line country fighting against terrorism. Regarding terrorism Pakistan launched many Military and Intelligence based operations.The famous and notable operations are RAHE RAAST,RAHE NEJAT and ZARBE AZAB. About 2 years ago Army also launched operation RADUL FISAD to eliminate terrorist and their activities across all over the country. Pakistan has witnessed the intervention of three great powers Britons, U.S.S.R(Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and U.S.
Afghanistan has no sea so it use the way of Pakistan for trading through Turkham Border.Pakistan aslo gives its services for NATO Supply(North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
Its strategic 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.Unfortunately,this policy became very dangerous for Pakistan and also as well for Afghanistan. The prospective and main agenda of this U.S Policy was not favorable for Pakistan. The intervention of both U.S.S.R and U.S damaged Afghanistan and peoples of Afghanistan. In the results of these interventions a huge amount of afghan immigrants moved towards Pakistan which left indirectly effects on economy.
Pakistan’s Geographical Location:
1.Boundary with Afghanistan:
Pakistan has strategic position, located in southern Asia. It is located between 24 and 36.5 Northern latitude and between 61 and 75.5 eastern latitude. The estimated area of Pakistan is round about 803,940 square kilometers. Afghanistan lies along North western part of Pakistan. Pakistan’s boundary with Afghanistan is about 2,250 kilometers long.The boundary line between Pakistan and Afghanistan is known as Durand Line which was drawn by Sir Mortimer Durand in 1893 and he was also Foreign Secretary of British India. 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 kilometres long. . There is no doubt when Pakistan came into being in1947, although its legitimacy was in later years disputed periodically by the Afghan government as well as by Pakhtun tribes .
2. Azad Jammu&Kashmir and Northern Areas:
In the northeastern part of the country,Former princely state Azad Jammu and Kashmir located Pakistan which has area round about 84,159 square kilometers . 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 have five highest mountains of world including K-2(GODWIN AUSTEN) second highest mountain of world with height of 8611 meters. It also has such extensive glaciers including Biafo ,Baltoro ,hispar and siachen etc that it has sometimes been called the “third pole.”
The boundary line has been a matter of pivotal dispute between Pakistan and India since 1947, and the Siachen Glacier in northern Kashmir has been an important arena for fighting between the two sides since 1984, although far more soldiers have died of exposure to the cold than from any skirmishes in the conflict.
3.Boundary and relations with China:
A boundary of about 438 kilometres runs generally southeast between China and Pakistan, ending near the Karakorum Pass. This line was determined from 1961 to 1965 in a series of agreements between China and Pakistan. Karakorum Highway also known as Silk Highway exist constructed by both China and Pakistan regarding trade. The game changer project CPEC which is constructed by both countries is also near to completion. Pakistan and China are also very cooperative in Defense. Both the countries manufactured a famous fighter Jet JF17. The intimate friendship of China and Pakistan is famous all over the world.
4.Boundary with India:
The India-Pakistan Border, known locally as the International Border (IB), is the international boundary between India and Pakistan that demarcates the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat from provinces of Punjab and Sindh. Pakistan borders India in the East. The border resulted from the Partition of India in 1947.This border also a border between India and Pakistan which is known as Redcliff Line. The Redcliff LINE was the boundary demarcation line between the Indian and Pakistani portion of the Punjab and Bengal provinces of British India.It was drawn Sir Cyril Radcliff who was the joint Chairman of two boundary commission.
The Line of Control (L.O.C) separates The Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan administered Azad Kashmir The length of LOC is 700 kilometers. Wagah, the ceremonial point of crossing between India and Pakistan lies along this border between the Indian city of Amritsar and the Pakistani city of Lahore, and is within close distance of both cities’ urban sprawl.
Total length of Pakistan’s border with India is 3133 kilometres. LOC includes 700 km, Working Boundary includes 193 km and International Border is 2240 km.
5.Boundary with Iran:
The boundary with Iran, some 909 kilometres in length, was first delimited by a British commission in 1893, separating Iran from what was then British Indian Baluchistan. In 1957 Pakistan signed a frontier agreement with Iran, and since then the border between the two countries has not been a subject of serious dispute.Pakistan deployed FC (Frontier Core) while Iran deployed IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Crops) on border.
6.Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean:
To the South of Pakistan , Arabian sea and Indian ocean are located. The coastal belt of Pakistan is about 1050 kilo meter. Pakistan significance is enhanced as it located near the Persian Gulf from where 65% oil of the world is produced