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Afghanistan needs Seaport for its survival / By: Faheem Nazimi
Wednesday, 01.16.2013, 07:40pm (GMT+1)

History has shown that India has always been Afghanistan major international trade market in the past. Unfortunately ever since the emergence of Pakistan as its eastern neighbour Afghanistan major international trade market has been drastically restricted and its trade routes have been constrained. Thus Afghanistan has been rendered totally dependent for its foreign trade on an alien Karachi port in a hostile country. Despite the existence of numerous international trade treaties between the counties, situation has never improved. Even when Afghanistan was peaceful for at least half a century, its economic growth had been hindered by the fact that it has lost its autonomy over its trade routes..  This has deprived Afghanistan of its most vital means of economic sustainability, rapid economic growth and prosperity. Recent studies indicate that a landlocked country due to its geographical constraints, experiences 0.7 % slower economic growth rate than other countries. Despite the gains that the international trading system has brought, the landlocked developing countries remain marginalized. Landlocked developing countries’ share of world trade remains miniscule, accounting for only 0.57 percent of the total exports and 0.64 percent of the total imports of world’s merchandise in 2003.  Geographical realities coupled with a lack of critical transport infrastructure and additional border crossings entailing complex procedures continue to pose significant impediment to trade for land-locked developing countries such as Afghanistan than actually tariffs do.  There is little doubt that without real solutions to the disadvantages that beset Afghanistan as a land-locked country, it will be driven to the outer fringes of the global economy.  Afghanistan being mostly dependant on Pakistan for its imports and exports is the greatest victim and sufferer of this geographical disadvantages imposed on it by Pakistan who has always remained hostile to Afghanistan causing tremendously high transit costs.  As a result the economic growth of Afghanistan is totally constrained.  The consequences of this brutal economic suffering have now emerged in the form of extreme backwardness which has de-stabilised Afghanistan.. The future US strategy in Afghanistan must also include the restoration of Afghan territorial integrity as an imperative in the fight against terrorism in the region. The long due historical territorial rights and full fledged territorial integrity and full independence of Afghanistan will cease Pakistani interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and will bring demise and total annihilation of Al Qaida in the region. The national freedom movements of Afghanistan will suffocate extremism and Al Qaida and will bring the ultimate triumph for Afghanistan and the US in the region. Let’s defeat extremism by patriotic nationalist and democratic forces of the Pashtun and Baluch and the people of Afghanistan and secure Afghan sea port for its future economic sustainability, rapid economic growth and prosperity. It is high time that we prioritize the geo-economics of Afghanistan as the way forward.  Some knowingly in order to mystify public opinion are trying to over look the enormous economic aspect of my argument by simply saying that being land locked can not be the sole reasons for misery. I believe in the case of Afghanistan, that is the case. Being land locked, ever since the emergence of Pakistan as its eastern neighbour means for Afghanistan a total dependence on an alien port in a historically hostile country with conflicting national interest and the loss of India as its international market. This has cost Afghanistan an irreparable economic loss and put the country’s economy on its downward spiral and total loss since 1947. Afghanistan, under such circumstances is hindered to reach international markets freely to be able to generate hard currency that the country and its economy badly needs. The country’s both imports and exports are restricted and international trade completely pent up by Pakistan.
 It is the democratic right of every country in the 21st century to stand for their rights to try to achieve economic independence and wean it self from outside assistance. Freedom of choice and self determination is the natural and democratic rights of every nation. The Pashtoons and the Baluchis have never been given the chance to exercise their democratic rights to choose whether to join Afghanistan. Continued occupation of the Afghan historical lands by Pakistan is the travesty of the 21st century. Where is your rationale approach and fair academic standing here?
The stage-managed scare mongering propaganda about the so called fear among non-Pashtoon against expanding southward to reach sea is simply unfounded and utterly baseless. On the contrary this will change the fate of Afghanistan in to a massive international trade and commerce hub in the region and the greatest gateway to central Asia and Middle East and even Europe. This will bring about unity and cohesion among the various ethnic groups in the country and a rapidly growing sustainable economy for Afghanistan. I am for diversity, I am for choices.
How misleading is to say and talk about ethnic balance, what nonsense this is.  I am against ethnic politics in whatever shape or form it may be. I am talking here about the geo-politics of Afghanistan and to change that in to geo-economics by opening an Afghan corridor in the west of Baluchistan to have a port of our own. Here we have people playing the drum of narrow-minded ethnic politics. We must look for a balanced society in terms of economics. Political decentralization and state collapse have unfortunately given rise to such ethnic politics. I am not in to that, I am afraid.
Putting across my ideas of irredentism and seeking a rapidly growing sustainable economy for Afghanistan is my genuine aspiration and dominant obsession. I have looked at a glace at 5 decades of Afghan history and pointed the root cause of war in Afghanistan. I have also expressed and determined the reasons primarily for what has caused the war in Afghanistan and thus come up with radical solution. Having an outlet to the sea and autonomous control of our own trade routes is the only way forward for Afghanistan survival and prosperity. I believe Afghan economic backwardness and its stagnant economy is primarily the route cause of instability and war in the country. The cause of this economic backwardness in my opinion is due to Afghan pent up international trade. Unless some thing is urgently done to improve this moribund Afghan economy as I have suggested on the basis of radical solution, globalization will drive it to the outer fringe of world economy, and Afghanistan will disintegrate by itself. Therefore, it is of vital importance to promote this cause and save Afghanistan. Let’s redefine and reshape Afghanistan as envisioned in my article above.

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