Chennai, Jan 23 : Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta has said that the development of Gwadar port, the third deep-sea port of Pakistan with Chinese assistance, worries India as the port would have serious strategic implications for the country.
While delivering a memorial lecture on T.S. Narayanswamy here, Admiral Mehta said that the port would empower Pakistan to control strategically important energy sea-lane on the Persian Gulf through which over 13 million barrels of oil pass every day.
"A highway is under construction joining Gwadar with Karachi and plans exist to link the port with Karakoram highway, thus providing China with the gateway to Arabian Sea," he said.
"Being only 180 nautical miles from the exit of the Straits of Hormuz, Gwadar, would put Pakistan strike major aisles of the Persian Gulf. Thereby enabling her to exercise control over the energy jugular of the world as also easy interdiction of Indian tankers," he added.
Gwadar port is on the Arabian Sea in the south-western province of Baluchistan. It is about 450 km (280 miles) west of Karachi and about 70 km (45 miles) east of the Iranian border.
Gwadar is looking to handle transhipment traffic for the Gulf and ports on the Arabian Peninsula. Pakistan also plans to use it as the main trade link with land-locked Afghanistan and resource laden economically emerging Central Asia.
China bankrolled 80 percent of the project's 248 million dollar initial development costs.