Despite its myriad preoccupations – Panama leaks, Nawaz Sharif’s health, the killing of Taliban Amir Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike and so on – the 23 May, 2016 trilateral Chabahar agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan, has raised a lot of concern in Pakistan. Basking in the glow of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which Pakistan hopes would transform its economy, the possible development of another port, in close proximity to Gwadar, the lynchpin of the CPEC, has jarred its reverie and raised fears of encirclement.
The dominant reaction in Pakistan is that of the military, articulated by retired generals and TV anchors known to be close to it. They see the development of Chabahar Port as posing a threat to the development of Gwadar and CPEC.
Seeing security primarily, if not exclusively, in military terms, (more…)