Pakistan Signs Gwadar Port Over to China Despite Rohrabacher’s Meddling

Detail of CIA Pakistan transportation map showing region around Gwadar. Click on map for a larger image.

Detail of CIA Pakistan transportation map showing region around Gwadar. Click on map for a larger image.

Even though he was unsure of its pronunciation, Representative Dana Rohrabacher mounted what was initially a one-man campaign that he claimed was for a free and independent Balochistan. He did eventually enlist top-notch intellectual luminaries Louie Gohmert and Steve King in his effort, but the lingering question I had regarding his efforts on this front boiled down to:

Does Rohrabacher want to help the Baloch, or does he merely want US control of the port of Gwadar and an end to the planned gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan through Balochistan?

We now have the opportunity to answer that question, as Rohrabacher’s attempts to arrange US control of Gwadar and to prevent the gas pipeline have failed. Pakistan officially transferred control of the port of Gwadar to China today from the Port of Singapore Authority. The final agreement relating to construction of the gas pipeline through Pakistan (Iran claims to have completed 900 kilometers of the pipeline within its borders already) was expected to be signed last Friday, but it appears a last-minute disagreement of gas pricing has delayed those signatures for a week. Here is Dawn on the transfer of Gwadar:

China took control of Pakistan’s Gwadar port on Monday as part of its drive to secure energy and maritime routes that also gives it a potential Arabian Sea naval base, sparking Indian concern. “The contract of operation of Gwadar port is formally given to China. Today, the agreement is transferred from the Port of Singapore Authority to China Overseas Ports Holding Company Limited,” President Asif Ali Zardari announced. “The award of this contract opens new opportunities for our people… It gives new impetus to Pakistan-China relations,” added Zardari in a speech broadcast live on television.

As the article notes, China had funded the bulk of the construction of the port, so it should come as no surprise that they would eventually gain control:

China paid about 75 per cent of the initial $250 million used to build the port but in 2007 PSA International won a 40-year operating lease. Then-ruler Pervez Musharraf was reportedly unwilling to upset Washington by giving control of the port to the Chinese.

I have to wonder whether Rohrabacher’s outright hostility shown to Pakistan over the Balochistan freedom movement and the issue of Dr. Shakeel Afridi played into their willingness to go against US wishes in signing Gwadar over to the Chinese. Perhaps Representative Rohrabacher can enlist a new ally in his battles with Pakistan since he is such an adherent to “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” approach. It appears that Iran is finding it necessary to build their own naval base very close to Gwadar so that they can keep an eye on what transpires there:

Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says the country is establishing a new base in the Sea of Oman near Pakistan’s border to boost the Islamic Republic’s defense capabilities. “The naval base, which is under construction, is situated in the Gwatr Gulf on our country’s farthest eastern shores bordering Pakistan,” Sayyari said on Sunday.

“The Iranian navy has so far had no military presence in the area, but now, we will be present in the region to defend the interests and maritime resources of our country and exercise a tighter control over the traffic in the region,” Sayyari noted.

Just as he took up arms to fight alongside Osama bin Laden’s Mujahideen movement against his arch-enemies from the Soviet Union, maybe Rohrabacher will decide to team up with Iran’s navy near Gwadar in an attempt to punish Pakistan for daring to thwart his wishes.

Tweet about this on Twitter11Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook4Google+0Email to someone

8 Responses to Pakistan Signs Gwadar Port Over to China Despite Rohrabacher’s Meddling

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @gregorydjohnsen No but don't they consider that notice to Congress "good enough"?
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @B_Amer Forgot you had taken some. Hope all is going well. Does the young one start school this week? Or did she? @alreinke
43mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ClipperChip: Seventeen mysterious cellphone towers that attack cellphones via baseband to eavesdrop traffic found in the US http://t.co
44mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @cody_k: Gotta love dolts that come around sticking Smith v. Maryland in my face like I couldn't possibly have ever seen it in this nat…
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @MiroCollas: Cat entertains himself with head-mounted laser pointer. http://t.co/GW5CFZllhB LMAO! Evil!!
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @cody_k Kind of surprised it took Cesca 17 hours to hop on that. He's slipping!
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @cody_k: Right on cue... here comes govt leak prosecutor @bobcesca_go to the rescue. @cenkuygur
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @NSCPress @JasonLeopold I ask again: When is 60 days up on a continuously rolling and evolving set of WPR "Notifications" for same conflict?
5hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @VBalasubramani I knew there would be negative effects from the legalization of pot up there!
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JamesFallows His strokes would still be all time world class great. But he would be pretty annoying.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @litbrit What I found on those McCain pics: http://t.co/hO60jHA93E
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @pbump Gotta say, between those and the Reefer Madness type of drug videos, it was hard to take growing up seriously.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
February 2013
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728