While much attention in the Indian Ocean countries is focused on various internal and external issues of respective national importance, the serious issue of the evolving geopolitics of Indian Ocean appears to be neglected. Basically this issue is being caused by the heightening endeavours of US and India to gain the over-lordship over Indian Ocean region within the framework of their self-conceived versions of their geopolitical right to do so. This issue reflects a ‘brewing flash-point’ with the potential of severely endangering the national maritime interests of not only many countries of Indian Ocean, but also of certain extra-regional countries whose maritime interests are linked with the sea-lanes of this ocean. There is, therefore, the need that effected countries pay due attention to this emerging threat. For that purpose it is essential to get a proper grasp of the ‘intricate texture’ of this issue. Since the ‘misconstrued’ versions of geopolitical right as conceived by US and India are fundamental to the issue, it is worth examining that aspect first. Other aspects to be examined are the significant peculiarities of Indian Ocean region; significant naval/military aspects of the ‘major contenders’ in the issue; and their related diplomatic endeavours. Proper understanding of these aspects can enable us to realistically analyse the evolving picture, and discern its implications for policy formulation by the effected countries.
The full text of the research paper by Pakistani military expert Brigadier (Retd) Dr. Ahsan ur Rahman Khan is published by ORIENTAL REVIEW in PDF issue.