STRATEGIC POWER PLAY IN THE INDIAN OCEAN AND PAKISTAN
Keywords:Geopolitics, Foreign Policy, Strategic Balance, Maritime Security
Indian Ocean is in limelight due to trade, connectivity, regional conflicts and tug of competition for dominance. Corresponding rising interest, naval competition, presence of world’s great and extra-regional powers, terrorism, and opposing states, make this
ocean a pivotal strategic theatre. Being a strategic fulcrum, the US, China and India are key contenders. The US, having India as its strategic ally, is employing its counterbalancing strategy against China. China envisions ‘Common future Common growth’ policy through its Belt and Road Initiative and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The US Indo-Pacific Strategy succeeds the Asia-Pacific rebalance. Iran’s strategic interests in the Indian Ocean is its strategic compulsion to combat its “geopolitical isolation” via energy diplomacy. The European Union views the strategic and political developments in the Indian Ocean from the side-lobes. Pakistan geographically has superior strategic orientation being at the gateway of energy highways and enjoys great geo-strategic superiority, especially in view of China’s BRI and its flagship CPEC. This qualitative causal research, employing deductive reasoning for analysis & inferences, studies the Indian Ocean powerplay and tug of influence while drawing strategic recommendations for Pakistan.
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