Gwadar – a city of contradictions and global warfare

For imperialist forces neither land, nor nature, nor villages or towns are of any matter. Why should they in the first place? The rules of capitalist modernity are the ones of profit and exploitation and of course they will act according to them. There is little meaning in trying to change the mind of those, who are the agents of this system. As everyone lives by a moral and a culture, they do as well.

For the people, the societies, their land, their home, their villages and towns mean everything for these are the places where they live, love, grief, create and pass away. This is what connects all people, this is the culture every society lives out. The love to their own homeland puts the society in a natural opposition to Capitalist Modernity. They try to live and preserve while Capitalism tries to destroy and steal. Wherever the society is strong connected to their homeland, have not been corrupted there will be resistance. There they will insist on their life.

One of these places, where the both opposed sides of history encounter each other in the most direct way, is the city of Gwadar. But where is Gwadar? Gwadar is a harbor city on the Arabian Sea, but considered a Gateway to the Indian ocean. It is located in the East of Belucistan, which is occupied by Pakistan. To understand the struggle between society and the Capitalist Modernity that is unfolding here, lets first look at Gwadar from the perspective of the people.

Gwadar appears to an old settlement, like most of the Baloch cities. For the region always have been an object to power struggles of different dynasties, a part of the historical Gwadar territory is today occupied by Iran, dividing the people and the area by an artifical state border. From the earliest stage of global imperialism, when Portuguese Invaders came to the region, Gwadar became of their interest. They tried to seize the town by looting and burning its surrounding areas but it had been defended by Baloch tribes. Later the British colonizers took advantage of power concurrence between different local kingdoms and made Gwadar to one of their centers of over-sea trade and political interventions.

The harbor became a strategic point for Pakistan with the emerge of the so-called “Belt and Road” project by China since the beginning of the 2014. While there is a lot to say to this project, we want to explain shortly. For its imperial plans China is working on a trade route that passed the Middle East and goes until Europe. By building such a route they want to control trade and geopolitics on the one side, on the other side they want to be able to export products in the best ways possible to the world market and become hegemonic in these fields. Its concurrence with India makes the coast of Balochistan, controlled by Pakistan, the closest entry to the westbound sea route. Pakistan, being both economical and political weak and also experienced with the oppression of ethnic and religious minorities, is the perfect partner, or better to say object, for Chinas plans. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the local realization of the “Belt and Road” is mainly focusing on Balochistan and have caused protests by different organizations and movements of the wide landscape of the Baloch resistance movement.

This resistance reaches from demonstrations and media campaigns until armed actions by Baloch guerilla groups, targeting Chinese and Pakistani implementers of the colonial projects as well as local collaborators. Actions had been carried out by the Baloch Liberation Army, leading to losses in the ranks of the Pakistani army and Chinese engineering staff, in Gwadar itself but also in other parts of the huge Chinese-Pakistan trade route project line (1)

These different forms of resistance and agencies that oppose the CPEC brought the Pakistani state in a situation in which it is scared of loosing its role as an local agent of global capitalism. The Chinese investors are not to satisfied with Pakistan not being able to control the people and oppress their resistance. This situation led the state to a new offensive against Baloch people, the Gwadar Fence Project. As reported by different Baloch organizations (2) the already militarized city is bound to become a trade castle, keeping the indigenous people out of it and fully sacrifice it to the means of profit. Therefor 24 square kilometers are being fenced and over 500 surveillance cameras being installed. The number of military being deployed was not shared until now.

While these are only numbers, the meaning of this project needs to be understood right and not separated from global warfare of the Capitalist Modernity against the people for the sake of a new order that they hope will save them for the crisis they maneuvered the world into. The Middle East is for a long time center of what Abdullah Öcalan (3) named the third world war. The occupation and genocidal politics in Kurdistan, Palestine and Balochistan bring pain, suffer and grief to millions of people, but they all appear just as calculations in the projects of Capitalist Modernity for establishing new routes to trade good and energy.

Capitalist Modernity makes the most precious and ancient lands to graveyards of people and their culture. While they may be the ones that get the most blood on their hands, it is neither the Turkish State, Israel nor Pakistan alone that is about to turn the Middle East into seas of blood and ruins of erased heritage. It is a logic that chooses profit over life, calculation over empathy and state over people. As we witness painfully, hoping for help or support by international institutions like United Nations, did not stop any of these imperial aggressions. For decades genocidal politics are being implied in Kurdistan, Palestine and Balochistan and besides empty words and statements, nothing happened. This should not be astonishing for them being a part of the same system, the same logic.

What should astonish us are the shortcoming in building up a unity of the people, those who are connected to live, society, heritage, freedom, peace and equality. Building stronger ties and structures that don’t fall for false friends and overcome racism and religious differences that have been created to divide are crucial tasks for the near future. The trade route may be of one of its first stations in Gwadar, but it is not going to stop there. For Capitalist Modernity, every ethnicity and every region is just a number of calculation, every town is a potential trade spot that can be cleaned from its people.


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