“The Wakhan Corridor: Pakistan’s Hidden Gem”
The Durand line agreement of 1983 between Sir Motmir Durand And Charles Napier demarcated a narrow line between British India and Afghanistan, which later termed as “ Wakhan Corridor”. In present days, this narrow strip territory extends to china and separates Pakistan from Tajikistan or central Asian Countries. If Wakhan Corridor properly utilized, it can bring wonders for Pakistan through which Pakistan would be able to address Its power crisis issues which are directly associated with the economic development of the country.
GEOSTRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE OF WAKHAN CORRIDOR.
The Wakhan Corridor is also termed the “roof of the world” with its altitude of 5400 meters. It is situated in the northeastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan and is enclosed on three sides by Pakistan, China and Tajikistan. The Wakhan Corridor, about 350 km long and 13 km wide, is surrounded by the exquisite Pamir Mountains to the north and the Karakoram Range to the south. The Wakhan Corridor has acquired high economic and strategic potential for Pakistan. It can serve as wonders for Pakistan as a transit economy route, generating thousands of jobs, developing foreign revenue, and most essential strengthen regional connectivity through infrastructure development. For bordering with China and the highly rich in resources Central Asian states, the Wakhan Corridor can work as a perfect transit route to trade those resources through Pakistan and China.
HIDDEN GEM FOR PAKISTAN.
Currently, Pakistan is facing a trade deficit owing to crippled policies, but if the trade routes generate from Wakhan Corridor connected to CPEC( China Pakistan Economic Corridor) and Karakorum highway, It would provide a much cheaper and easier trade route for Pakistan. Secondly, Facilitating Tajikistan access to Pakistan’s seaport and Gawador Port could provide an opportunity for Pakistan to take benefit from rich minerals, as it is visible that Central Asian Countries are rich in terms of minerals. Above all, it will be proved as the least costly trade route for
Pakistan, China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. As per the present statistics, Azerbaijan contains 7.5 trillion cubic meters of gas, Kazakhstan holds 22 million barrels of oil. On the other hand, Turkmenistan single-handedly possesses 37 billion of oil and 60–80 billion cubic meters of gas in its arsenal. In addition to that, Afghanistan is also considered among one of the largest gas and copper producers in the global market. Pakistan can easily achieve much more from this golden treasure to cater for its problems. For Asian countries, It is time to change the fate by converting buffer land into a trade bridge or them. Meanwhile, Pakistan should establish its friendly relations with bordering countries to attract investors and cater for its economic issues by using all positive gates of the Wakhan corridor as a trade road.
The writer is a student of Information Technology and has an interest in trade and development, and economy