A Tale of Two Ports: Gwadar versus Chahbahar

Located barely 72 km away from each other in the deep-sea Gwadar port in Pakistan and Chabahar in Iran are not mere ports but geopolitical launch pads that can alter the strategic balance in the region. The Gwadar port — close to the Straits of Hormuz — allows China to access the Indian Ocean. China can monitor US and Indian naval activity in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea while its proxy Pakistan can control the energy routes from there. On the other hand, Chabahar port in Iran, is India’s trump card and gateway to Afghanistan, Central Asia, Russia and beyond. It can allow India to monitor Pakistani & Chinese naval activities in the Indian Ocean Region and Gulf.