Karachi : China has given two patrolling ships to Pakistan for the security of the ambitious ‘Economic Corridor’ project, being built by China in Pakistan and is worth almost 46 billion dollars. The two ships will also look after the security of ‘Gwadar’ port. Pakistan has initiated both the vessels in its navy. China is going to give two more maritime vessels to Pakistan, under the guise of providing security to Gwadar port. It is being claimed that the moving about of these patrolling vessels, provided to Pakistan by China, near the maritime territory of India may prove to be a cause of concern for India.
The security concern of the 3000-km ‘Economic Corridor’ project (CPEC), which links China’s Kashgar city to Pakistan’s Gwadar port, has been consistently worrying China. This project will offer China a new and straight route for conducting trade with Gulf countries, African countries and Europe. However, a large unrest is brewing against this project in the regions like Balochistan, as well as Gilgit-Baltistan.
Considering the severe opposition to this project, China also is doubtful about the completion of this heavily funded project. Hence, few days ago, a special envoy from China, during his visit to Pakistan, had called upon all the Pakistani political parties to join hands for the success of the CPEC project. It is in this context that the ships have been given to Pakistan by China.
The ships, named ‘PMSS Hingol’ and ‘PMSS Basol’ are equipped with long-rangeguns. Pakistan has claimed that inclusion of these ships in its navy, will increase the capacity of Pakistan’s navy.
These ships were handed over by the Chinese authorities to Pakistan in the presence of Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini of Pakistan’s Navy. This inclusion of Chinese ships in Pakistan’s Navy was termed as a ‘historical incident’ by Hussaini. He stated that both the ships will be deployed for the security of Gwadar port, as well as the sea-route of the CPEC project.
China not only has developed Pakistan’s Gwadar port, but its total operational controls also are, at present, with China’. This port has been operational since last November. Pakistan is hoping to achieve economical progress, once the port of Gwadar is fully operational and the complete CPEC route is functional.
From strategic point of view, Pakistan is looking forward to CPEC, as a ‘game changer’. Since completion of this project is essential for Pakistan’s survival, Pakistan is also making all-out efforts to complete the project successfully. A separate department within the Pakistani Army has been established to look after the security of Gwadar port.
Meanwhile, there was a news in the media some days ago that a nuclear-capable submarine of China had been stationed in Karachi port. In future, China can deploy warships and submarines in Gwadar port also. Hence, this increasing cooperation between Pakistan and China is proving to make the maritime challenges faced by India, far more difficult.