Dr. Hasan Yaser Malik
‘POWER STRUGGLE IN INDIAN OCEAN IN POST COLD WAR ERA AND ITS GEO-STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS FOR PAKISTAN’
Thesis by Bakhtiar Hakeem
Geography has been a pivotal facet in civilization development; predominantly civilizations have emerged and progressed along waters. It’s a proverb that land divides and seas unites. Waters have also assisted explorers like Ibn-e-Battuta, Marco Polo and Zheng He to explore the planet. The great explorers have trended an inclusive trade and cultural harmony. The trade gradually started transforming into competition between various nations; demanding a strong naval power not only to deal with the menace of piracy but also to secure the sea trade routes. The trade competition in Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Aegean Sea commenced in 11th Century and since than Indian Ocean has engulfed various clashes between Chola, Sirivijaya dynasties from Bay of Bengal to Sumatra. The quest to influence Indo-Pacific Region was joined by the Ming dynasty in 15th century. It was after the establishment of the Arab-Islamic Navy at Cochin and Diu that proved pivotal in Portuguese and other European nations to dominate the Indian Ocean till 19th century when Japan and U.S started dominating it. Author has bequeathed a practical and a contemporary account of power struggle in Indian Ocean since cold war; with a view to determine geo-strategic implications for Pakistan in a very concise and persuasive manner. Author has emphasised that littoral states, regional and extra regional powers including Iran, Pakistan, India, China and U.S are endeavouring to dominate the Indo Pacific Region since Cold War. While exploring the historical facets relating to maritime dimensions of Indian snags: First; despite some organizational defects, the DCC and DC are valuable mechanisms and they must therefore be revived. Second; most countries, including India, have vested the command and control of all or parts of military assets, in a single authority from the dominant service, called the CDS (also other names), who reports directly to the government, ensuring a robust chain of military command and control. Though the CDS usually acts as the principal advisor to the government on military matters, but within this framework, the services chiefs have considerable autonomy. Adoption of this model by Pakistan is imperative to ensure force multiplication to overcome multiple security challenges, eliminating duplicity and bringing fiscal efficiency. Meanwhile, the role of the NSA must be redefined, the capacity of the NSC secretariat enhanced and the existing Joint Staff Headquarters, that is the secretariat of the JCSC, (and later the CDS), must be reinforced. Finally, a more daunting, but vital transformation is to enact laws that compel the federal government to periodically determine national interests and formulate comprehensive security policies. This top down approach will guarantee that the defence, internal security and other associated policies flow out logically and coherently from guidance at the uppermost level; which shall certainly swing the onus of security in the political domain, where it rightly belongs. Besides enhancing national resilience, these reforms will simplify and streamline military management and oversight, while enhancing the rather hyped, ‘civilian control of military authorities’. A forceful civilian intervention is necessary for this reorganization and it should therefore be collectively sponsored by the government and the two parliamentary committees on defence. FOREWORD ON THE THESIS ‘POWER STRUGGLE IN INDIAN OCEAN IN POST COLD WAR ERA AND ITS GEO-STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS FOR PAKISTAN’ BY BAKHTIAR HAKEEM Dr. Hasan Y. Mallik 22 February 2020 Ocean, it has been highlighted that a potent naval power of Oman was replaced by British till 1971 and next was the U.S to follow the suit; once British rolled back from Malaysia, Singapore and Persian Gulf. The U.S started influencing Indo-Pacific Region by dominating most of the bottle necks; independently or with Indian assistance in Andaman Nicobar Islands. USSR had been making efforts to influence Pacific Ocean and Mediterranean Sea however it could only institute a little presence in Indian Ocean with Indian assistance. In contemporary scenario China is not only building a Blue Water Navy but is also trying to secure its SLOCs by countering the U.S domination in South China Sea, Indian and Atlantic Ocean. Pakistan being at confluence, two continents and mouth of Persian Gulf will remain subject to various diplomatic, economic, military and social implications for being portion of vibrant Indo-Pacific Region. As Pakistan has been blessed with diplo-economic manoeuvre place hence it will remain a dynamic facet for inclusive preeminence. Apart from trusted relations with China, it is principally its location that has afforded it an opportunity it to be a pivot of CPEC and BRI. Gwadar Port being a pivot linking Eurasian and Indo-Australian continental plates will enrich the diplo-economic ties and will dominate the Blue Diplomacy. I am sure that his pursuit will be a source of knowledge and motivation to enhance the facet of Maritime Affairs. It was interesting to know that author’s interest in maritime affairs has developed through his blood linage.
Dr. Hasan Yaser Malik holds Master Degrees in English, International Relations, Warfare Studies and Special Education. He did Ph.D. in International Relations, his thesis is titled as ‘Strategic Significance of Gwadar Deep Sea Port: Regional and extra regional dimensions’. The author has a few International Research Contributions to his credit and has hundreds of readers. He is associated with various research and academic institutions and is also an editorial team member with a few International Research Journals. Author has served as a part of United Nations in African Peninsula and has earned a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’. As part of corporate experience, he has led various projects of social and business development. Presently, he is pursuing to study International Law. Apart from research, he has interest in Flying and Deep Sea Diving and has visited Africa and Europe. He can be contacted at email@example.com.