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Atlantic: Pakistan's Fatal Shore

Author: Robert D. Kaplan
May 2009

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Robert D. Kaplan argues that Pakistan's political stability depends partly on the development of its strategic Gwadar port.

Excerpt: The word Pakistan summons up the Indian subcontinent, but the subcontinent actually begins with the Hub River, a few miles west of Karachi, near the Indus River Delta. Thus, Pakistan's 400-mile-long Makran coast, which runs from the Iranian frontier eastward along the Arabian Sea, constitutes a vast transition zone that bears a heavy imprint of the Middle East and particularly of Arabia: directly across the Gulf of Oman is Muscat, the capital of Oman. This transition zone, which also includes the interior land adjacent to the coast, is known as Baluchistan.

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