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India’s Maritime Policy towards the Gulf States:
     Planning, Projection and Prescription




                     Zakir Hussain
                     Research Fellow




              Indian Council of World Affairs
              Sapru House, New Delhi. 110 001
                           India




                            1
Abstract: The peninsular outreach of India in the Indian Ocean
assigns it a naturally predominant maritime status among the
world powers. The incontestable fact, however, is that though the
various coastal kingdoms constituting present-day India had
legendary maritime prowess, independent India took an
inordinately long time to evolve its hesitant maritime doctrine. In
the positive perspective of history, this is merely a recounting of
times bygone. Nevertheless, current policymakers can learn from
this recounting. In the current scenario of India’s growing
presence on the international scene, the country’s policymakers
need to take advantage of every available opportunity to ensure its
presence in the maritime field in the interests of a prosperous and
secure world order.
This paper would aim at studying India’s maritime policy towards
the Gulf states, which account high in India’s overall national
interests, including security of energy, safe passage of trade and
commerce, maintaining a safe and secure Sea Line of
Communications (SLOCs), besides ensuring effective security to
the nation.
The present paper is divided into three sub-parts. Part I deals with
India’s Maritime Policy; Part II deals India’s Maritime Stakes and
Challenges in the Western Indian Ocean Region; Part III
Management of India’s maritime Interest.




About the Author:

                                 2
Dr. Zakir Hussain is Research Fellow at the Indian Council of World Affairs. His area of research is the
    political economy of West Asia and the Gulf. He has a rich experience on diverse issues of the Gulf region,
    including migration, energy, nuclear, maritime geo-strategy and India’s foreign relations with Gulf
    countries in the age of globalization and post-cold war. Before joining this institute, he was associated with
    International national Organisation, National Labour of Institute of India, Institute for Defence Studies and
    Analyses and National Maritime Foundation. His book on India and Gulf: Emerging Dynamics is
    forthcoming. He can be accessed: shahabzakir@gmail.com. Mobile: +91-7838608840. Currently he is
    working on Saudi Arabia and India in the 21st Century in the Gulf.

    Disclaimer: Views are solely of the author. ICWA has nothing to do with this view.




India’s Maritime Policy towards the Gulf States: Planning, Projection and Prescription


                                                     3
Dr. Zakir Hussian




Maritime policy essentially enunciates the protection, preservation, and augmentation of the
national interest accruing from a country’s territorial waters and in international waters. Since
time immemorial the oceans have played a crucial role in safeguarding and enhancing India’s
national interests.

Peninsular morphology has assigned to India a maritime status based on incontestable natural
foundations. It is a fact, however, that India’s hesitant maritime doctrine took a long time to
evolve, mature, and assert itself. For long decades the country suffered from virtual “sea
blindness”. The consequence was that it prospered less than it could have and compromised on
its territorial sovereignty. This in spite of the fact that Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first Prime
Minister, asserted:

        We cannot afford to be weak at sea. History has shown that whoever controls the Indian Ocean
        has, in the first instance, India’s seaborne trade at her mercy and, in the second, India’s very
        independence itself. (Berlin, 2000)

Geographically, the southern Indian peninsula halves the country’s maritime domain into eastern
Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and western IOR. Eastern IOR encompasses the South China Sea
and beyond: India’s seaborne trade and traffic extends to the US in this direction; western IOR
reaches up to the Cape of Good Hope and east of Africa; while the lower south reaches
Antarctica. The western IOR is controlled by four entry points: Cape of Good Hope, Strait of
Hormuz, Strait of Bab el-Mandeb and Suez Canal; eastern IOR is safeguarded by three straits:
Malacca, Sunda and Lombok.

In India’s policy regarding IOR, both IOR halves have helped, even beyond IOR, including the
South China Sea, through which a great deal of Indian trade transits. However, on account of
vital stakes such as energy, trade, diaspora and major sea lines of communication (SLOCs),
western IOR plays a crucial role in India’s economic and political strategy regarding IOR.

For India, in both advantages and security challenges, the two halves of IOR have different
connotations. China’s presence in the eastern region poses for India a geo-strategically tough
policy option. The Indian Maritime Doctrine of 2004 takes note of “attempts by China to
                                                   4
strategically encircle India” and comments adversely on “China’s vigorous exertions that tend to
spill over into our maritime zone”. While western IOR does not pose any big-power threat, the
emergence of strong asymmetrical forces in recent years, including non-state actors and their
attempts to make inimical use of the sea, pose serious challenges to the maritime interests of
India as well as other nations in the region. Statistically, only 20 per cent of the seaborne trade
that transits through the Indian Ocean belongs to the littoral states, the rest of it belonging to
exogenous countries.

Based on these realities, India’s maritime policy towards the Gulf, though not openly
pronounced, has some nuanced differences from its policy towards eastern IOR. The diverse sets
of stakes and challenges have convinced Indian policymakers to develop different sets of
maritime policy matrixes between the two IOR sectors.

Against this backdrop, this paper attempts to elucidate existing elements of India’s maritime
policy vis-à-vis the Gulf region and the required modifications in it. It aims at the following: (i)
explain and analyse the broad contours of India’s maritime policy; (ii) discuss India’s maritime
interest – both stakes and challenges – in the Gulf; (iii) discuss India’s efforts to manage its
maritime interests in the region, including policies and alliances; (iv) and based on this
discussion, come to certain conclusions.

I. India’s Maritime Doctrine

The Rig Veda of yore invokes the following prayer: Shano Varuna (“Be auspicious to us, O
Varuna”, Varuna being the Lord of the Sea). This is reflective of India’s long maritime tradition,
spanning more than four thousand years. The term “maritime” in general encompasses many
aspects that pertain to the sea, such as economic, political, military, scientific, technological, and
environmental. Maritime issues include seaborne trade and commerce, delimitation of
international seaward boundaries, deployment and employment of naval forces, and the
management of the living and non-living resources of the sea. The strategy of the Indian
Maritime Doctrine is designed to “respond to a range of external threats and safeguard India’s
economic, political and security interests in the maritime domain, with a purposefully designed
set of maritime capabilities”. The doctrine has explained the concept of and principles underlying
India’s naval power. We notice that in recent years the Indian Navy’s maritime strategy has

                                                  5
focused on three crucial elements, namely, national interest, perceived threats and naval
capabilities.

India’s Maritime Doctrine has enumerated the role, missions and operational tasks of the Indian
Navy, underlining the likely scenario of the use of naval force:

            •   Conflict with a state in India’s immediate neighbourhood or clash of interest with
                an extra-regional power

            •   Operation in extended and/or strategic neighbourhood in response to a request for
                assistance from a friendly nation

            •   Anti-terrorist operations, conducted multilaterally or unilaterally

            •   Actions to fulfil international bilateral strategic partnership obligations

            •   Ensuring good order at sea, which includes Low Intensity Maritime Operation
                (LIMO), to combat asymmetric warfare, poaching, piracy and trafficking in arms/
                drugs

            •   Ensuring safety and security of international shipping lanes (ISLs) through the
                Indian Ocean

            •   Actions to assist the Indian diaspora and Indian interests abroad

            •   Peacekeeping operations, under the aegis of the United Nations, independently or
                as part of a multinational force.



Maritime Domain Awareness

The next focus of the Indian Maritime Doctrine is to clearly outline the maritime domain of the
country, so that the Indian Navy can perform its task smoothly and confidently, particularly in
the presence of neutral warships and mercantile marine during maritime warfare.

Table 1 shows the basic features of the Indian maritime domains, total length of coastline, island
territories and maritime jurisdictions.

                                Table 1: Maritime statistics of India

                Total Length of Coastline      7516.6 km
                Mainland                       5422.6 km
                                                   6
Lakshadweep Islands            132 km
               A&N Islands                    1962 km
               Island Territories             1197
               A&N Islands                    572
               Lakshadweep Islands            27
               Off West Coast mainland        447
               Off East Coast mainland        151
               Maritime Jurisdiction          UNCLOS Ratification dated 29 June 1995
               Territorial Waters             45,450 sq km/155,889 sq km
               Extent of EEZ                  587,600 sq km/2,013,410 sq km
               Deep Sea Mining Area           150,000 sq km Pioneer Investor 1987
                                              Posn-180 Cape Comorin 1080 km
               Antarctica                     Dakshin Gangotri-1983
                                              Maitri-1989

                Source: Freedom to Use Sea, 2007.




Area of Maritime Interest

The Indian Maritime Doctrine has reiterated its faith in the sixteenth-century Portuguese
Governor Alfonso de Albuquerque’s view, who once ruled in the IOR, that “the control of the
key chokepoints extending from the Horn of Africa to the Cape of Good Hope and the Malacca
Strait is essential to prevent any inimical power from making an entry into the Indian Ocean”.
Considering the vast expanse of the IOR, around 68.558 million sq km, and the present capacity
of the Indian Navy to manage the maritime affairs, Indian policymakers have bifurcated India’s
maritime interests into Primary and Secondary Areas. The former represents the immediate and
core interests of the country; the latter carries futuristic stakes, depending upon the future
expansion of the Indian naval power in the region and beyond. The Indian Maritime Doctrine
2009 enumerates the following areas of interest:




       The Primary Areas of maritime interest include:

           •    The Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, which largely encompass India’s EEZ,
                island territories and their littoral reaches

           •    The chokepoints leading to and from the Indian Ocean – principally the Strait of
                Malacca, the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb and the Cape of Good
                Hope

                                                    7
•   The Island countries

           •   The Persian Gulf, which is the source of majority of the country’s oil supplies

           •   The principal ISLs crossing the IOR
       The Secondary Areas include:

           •   The Southern IOR

           •   The Red Sea

           •   The South China Sea

           •   The East Pacific Region

Figure 1 graphically shows the area of India’s maritime interests.




Figure 1: Maritime Domain of India

Source: Berlin, 2006
                                                8
II. India’s Maritime Stakes and Challenges in Western IOR

A: Stakes

India’s maritime stakes in western IOR are significantly high. India’s rapid economic growth,
soaring energy dependence, presence of vast diaspora, geo-political location as well as overall
peace, security and stability in the region are crucially linked to the state of affairs in this sector
of IOR. Over the years, these factors have required of India to evolve a consistent, stable and
broad-based maritime policy towards the Gulf States.

Maritime Trade and Energy Security

India’s economic future depends on maritime trade; nearly 95 per cent of its trade by volume and
77 per cent by value is seaborne. Sustained high economic growth in the post-liberalization era
has not only increased India’s trade-GDP ratio from 9 per cent in 1990-91 to 19 per cent in
1998-99 to 25 per cent to the present but also enhanced its share in global trade from 0.5 per cent
to 1.8 per cent. The Indian economy has become integrated with the major economies of the
world; consequently, its trade both by volume as well as value has grown rapidly. For instance,
in 1998-99 India’s total foreign trade was of US$ 75.52 billion which increased to US$ 467.12
billion in 2009-10. As a result the capacity of Indian ports to handle foreign trade has also grown
simultaneously; the volume of traffic handled by Indian ports grew from 244.15 million tonnes
(MT) in 1998-99 to 849.9 MT in 2009-10. According to the Maritime Agenda 2010–2020, over
the last ten years (1998/99-2008/09) the Indian seaborne trade has been growing at a compound
average growth rate (CAGR) of 11.38 per cent; before the economic crisis, it was 12.25. At
CAGR of 12.25 per cent, the Maritime Report estimated that in absolute terms, the Indian
seaborne trade is expected to grow from the current 598.7 MT to 2,134 MT by 2020, i.e. about
3.56 times the current trade, leading to an increase in India’s share in global seaborne trade from
the current 3.66 per cent to 9.3 per cent by 2020. Table 2 shows the past and projected Indian
seaborne EXIM trade.

         Table 2. India’s past and projected seaborne EXIM Trade, 1998/99–2008/9
  Year           1998-99 1999-00 2000-1 2001-2 2002-3 2003-4 2004-5 2005-6 2006-7 2007-8 2008-9 2019-20

                                                  9
Million Tonnes   203.7   224.6   244.3   273   280.3   345.7   400.6   447.1   497.8   576.4   598.7   2134
Source: Maritime Agenda 2010–2020.

The rise in India’s seaborne trade is attributed more to the countries in western IOR. The
intensity is more towards the Gulf-OPEC and African countries. The Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) has emerged as the second-largest trading hub of India. India’s non-oil trade with some of
the GCC countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Iran has been consistently going up. In
2009 the UAE emerged as India’s leading non-oil trading partner, with a total trade of more than
US$45 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia as the fourth-largest non-oil trading partner (around
$23 billion).

Several factors have contributed to the quantum jump in Indo-Gulf bilateral trade. A prominent
factor is policy transformation of both sides. India considers the Gulf region as its “extended
neighbourhood”. Similar to the 1990s’ “Look East Policy”, in 2005 the Indian government
announced a “Look West Policy”. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated:

          The Gulf region, like South-East and South Asia, is part of our natural economic hinterland. We
          must pursue closer economic relations with all our neighbours in our wider Asian neighbourhood.
          India has successfully pursued a “Look East” policy to come closer to the countries of South East
          Asia. We must come closer to our western neighbours in the Gulf.1

He directed the Commerce and External Affairs Ministries to rapidly conclude the Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) negotiation with the GCC. He also emphasized the need to promote bilateral
negotiations with all individual member countries of the GCC for a Comprehensive Economic
Cooperation Agreement (CECA) covering the services and investment sectors.

It is expected that once the FTA is signed, India-GCC trade between will increase by about three
and a half times the current size.

Similarly, the Gulf countries have realized the growing potential of the Indian economy and
technological prowess. Under its Look East Policy, the GCC Chamber of Trade and Commerce
has also shown an interest in economically targeting large and populous countries like China,
India and Malaysia in Asia.

1
 PM Launches ‘Look West’ Policy to Boost Cooperation with Gulf”, Press release, Prime Minister’s
Office, July 27, 2005. Available at http://pmindia.nic.in/prelease/pcontent.asp?id=278. Accessed
21.11.2011.

                                                      10
This has considerably increased the prospects of maritime interactions between India and the
Gulf countries. During his recent visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Indian Prime Minister has
also opened the prospects of better trade and commercial relations with African countries.

Table 3 shows the rising volume of trade between India and the West Asia and North Africa
(WANA) region.




               Table 3: WANA share in Indian trade during 1998/99–2009/10
                                            (in US$ Million)
          Year            1998-99      1999-00      2000-1       2001-2       2002-3       2003-4
          Total Indian
                         75,607.43    86,560.55    95,096.74    95,240.00    114,131.57   141,991.66
          Trade
          WANA Share
                            15.8         16.4         9.1          9.4          9.7          10.6
          (%)
          Year             2004-5      2005-6       2006-7       2007-8       2008-9       2009-10
          Total Indian
                         195,053.37   252,256.26   312,149.29   414,786.19   488,991.67   467,124.31
          Trade
          WANA Share
                            12.2         10.9         23.8         24.7         27.0         25.9
          (%)
        Source: Ministry of Trade and Commerce, India, accessed 17.08.2011.




Energy Security

A factor that can seriously compromise India’s economic growth, currently at 9 per cent, is
interruption in hydrocarbons supply from the Persian Gulf countries. Currently, 65 per cent of
India’s oil import comes from the Gulf region; this is expected to grow to 85 per cent of the total
95 per cent import by 2030. Nirupama Rao, who was then Foreign Secretary, said that by 2020
India would be consuming around 245 MT of oil, which would be third in the world and second
in Asia. Any blockade either at chokepoints – Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb and at
the Suez Canal; or disruption in SLOCs – in the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea
– would not only severely threaten India’s energy security but also critically affect its economy,
polity and society. Other countries that critically depend upon the Middle East oil, such as China,
Japan, European countries and the US, would also encounter a serious energy crisis. Therefore,
security of energy at sea is a crucial agenda of India’s maritime policy and maritime interest. To



                                                    11
India, securing energy supply is more important than for any other country in the world.
      According to Rao (2000),

              India is far more dependent than the US or even the former Western Europe on import of crude
              oil from West Asia. Whereas 90 per cent of India’s total imports of oil were sourced from the
              Persian Gulf, the equivalent figure for the US and Japan were 19 per cent and 74 per cent.

      In addition, the bulk of India’s domestic oil production is offshore; these offshore installations
      also need effective protection. Besides building huge offshore oil establishment, ONGC, GAIL
      (Gas Indian Limited) and other bodies have invested massively in on land infrastructures,
      including pipelines, LNG terminals etc. As noted by Freedom to Use Seas (2007):
              “Today, the offshore infrastructure of ONGC includes over 25 Process Platforms and more than
              125 Well Platforms. In addition, over 3000 km pipeline has been laid on the seabed for the flow
              of oil and gas from the process platforms to onshore terminals at Hazira and Uran. The offshore
              regions where productions are taking place cover a total area in excess of 17,000 sq nm and it
              extends more that 100 nm into the EEZ. Offshore fields are, therefore, national assets of vital
              economic importance and any breakdown in either production of oil or gas or deviation in
              planned construction and expansion of the means of production is likely to adversely affect the
              long term strategic planning of the national economy…Since there are no physical barriers at sea,
              our offshore infrastructure is extremely vulnerable to disruptive attacks. It is obvious there is a
              need for constant surveillance and protection of these assets.”2



      Since 1990, India has also ventured out to acquire oil acreages abroad. India’s OVL (ONGC
      Videsh Limited) has been actively engaged in a dozen foreign oilfields; except Sakhalin, Russia,
      its bulk of oil is transported through three most risky chokepoints: the Cape of Good Hope and
      the Straits of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb.

             Table 4: India’s Domestic Oil Production and Consumption, 1970-/71-2009/10
                                                                                                              (000’ tonnes)
   Year      1970-71 1979-80 1989-90 1999-00     2001-2     2003-4       2004-5    2005-6     2006-7     2007-8     2008-9      2009-10
Domestic
              6,822   11,766   34,087   31,949   32,032     33,498       33,498    32,190     33,988     34,118     33,506      33,691
Production
Domestic
Consumptio   18,505   27,887   53,577   89,754   1,10,738   1,23,807    1,29,355   1,22,353   1,31,669   1,40,697   1,45,312    1,49,803
n
      Source: Petroleum Statistics, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, (relevant issues)



      2
             Freedom       to     Use      the          Seas:          India’s     Maritime         Military        Strategy,
      http://indiannavy.nic.in/maritime_strat.pdf

                                                                12
Figure 2: Domestic Production and Consumption of Crude Oil in India, 1970/71-2009/10
(in 000 Tonnes)
Source: based on Table 4.


Figures 3 and 4 show the oil demand, domestic production and total import as well as major
destinations of crude oil imports.


             Fig 3: Demand Projection                                       Fig 4: Import
              & Domestic Production                                         Destinations




                                            13
Figures 3 and 4: Projection of oil demand, domestic production and percentage of import
from different regions and countries, 2001/2–2024/25.
Source: Indian Hydrocarbons Vision (IHV) 2025 and data from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural
Gas.
However, India has also emerged as a significant supplier of refined petroleum products to most
of the countries like Iran, Oman. Its export of these products increased from 23.4 MMT in
2005-06 to 144.03 MMT in 2009-10. The importing countries on western IOR are primarily Iran,
Oman, Bahrain and some Western countries. This also demands security of transportation.

Natural Gas

If the twentieth century was the century of oil, the twenty-first, it is said, belongs to natural gas.
Natural gas is a clean and green source of energy; it is 40 per cent less polluting, relatively
cheap, geographically more evenly distributed, as well as less susceptible to price fluctuation
than oil. Consequently, under its energy diversification programme, the Indian government has
also promoted the use of natural gas. Consumption of natural gas in India has grown rapidly in
recent decades. Under the government’s Vision Document, by 2020 the authorities have targeted
to increase the share of gas in the total energy mix from the present 9 per cent to 15 per cent. To
meet its demand, India has signed one of the biggest long-term LNG contracts with Qatar. Over a
period of twenty-five years, Qatar would supply approximately 24 MT of LNG, in three phases.
Bedsides Qatar, Iran and Oman have been India’s LNG suppliers from the Gulf countries. On
account of political logjam in the IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline) and TAPI
(Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipelines on one hand and growing gas
consumption in India on the other, LNG import will increase in a big way. (Table 5) Most of the
LNG carriers will ferry through the Western IOR, hence, they need effective protection at sea.

Table 5 shows the past and projected demand for natural gas in India.

               Table 5: India’s Projected Natural Gas Demand,2004/5-2024/25

                                            Base Year: 1997-(59 MSCMD)
                  Year            2004-05   2009-10    2014-15 2019-20     2024-25
                  Gas Demand        195       277        329      358        391
                    Source: Indian Hydrocarbons Vision (IHV) 2025.



                                                 14
The Diaspora

Another important dimension of India’s maritime policy regarding the Gulf countries has been
shaped by the presence of the vast Indian diaspora community in the region. Approximately 5
million Indian expatriates are present in different Gulf countries, the majority being in the six
GCC countries, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. (Table 6) In
any emergency situation, such as occurred in the Gulf crisis 1990, the Lebanon war (2006) and
the recent Libyan crisis, the Indian Navy has been called upon to evacuate the Indian expatriates
at short notice. This possibility has been enunciated in the Indian Maritime Doctrine of 2009 as
“action to assist the Indian diaspora and the Indian interests abroad”. During the Lebanon crisis,
the Indian Navy deployed two ships to evacuate Indian workers from the region; workers from
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal were also taken on board. In the recent Libyan crisis the Indian
Navy was assigned the task of evacuating 17,000 Indians from Libya. Three ships were engaged
in the task and within a fortnight the mission was accomplished.

Table 6 shows the share of GCC countries in total clearance of migration during 1975-2010.

       Table 6: Percentage Share of Migration Clearance to the GCC States in Total

   Year        1975      1979       1981       1990         1995       2000       2001       2005       2010
Total
Clearance    2,66,555   5,01,000   5,94,500   1,43,565     4,15,334   2,43,182   2,78,664   5,48,853   6,41,356
s
GCC
                96.7     86.5        88.3      95.6          92.6      72.4        83.5      82.8        95.2
Share (%)
Source: Office of Protector General of Emigrants, Govt. of India & Annual Report,2010-11, Ministry of
Overseas Indian Affairs, GOI. .

Economically, the Gulf diaspora community has been consistently contributing to the Indian
economy through constant flow of remittances. Currently, India receives approximately $53
billion remittances; approximately, 40 per cent is coming from the Gulf region.

B: Challenges

The challenges to India’s maritime interests in western IOR are myriad. Although unlike the
eastern sector, western IOR is not intensely subjected to international rivalry and encirclements,
in recent years the rise and presence of strong asymmetrical forces, including non-state actors,
and their alliance with forces that contemplate inimical use of the sea have posed serious

                                                      15
challenges to Indian maritime interests. Re-emergence of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and
adjoining regions, the possibility of terror-piracy (alliance between pirates and terrorist groups at
sea), geopolitical instability in the energy-rich nations leading to possible blockade of
chokepoints, instability at sea as well as protection of SLOCs and ISLs and the misuse of sea for
illegal activities like narco-terrorism, gunrunning, human trafficking, etc., are some of the major
challenges India and other nations might confront in the region.

Piracy in the Gulf of Aden

At the onset of the current century, piracy resurfaced in the Gulf of Aden and its suburban
region. Somali pirates made global headlines for the first time on 5 November 2005, when they
tried to hijack the US cruise-liner Seaborne Spirit approximately 75 nautical miles off the coast
of Somalia. Their second, and successful, attack was on an Indian dhow Bhakti Sagar in
February 2006. Since then these pirates have stepped up their adventurism. In 2006, only 22
incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden were reported; 51 in 2007; 111 in 2008; 217 in 2009 and
2010; and by mid- 2011, 117 cases were reported.

Figure 5 shows the rising tide of piracy in the Gulf of Aden. It also shows the shifting destination
of piracy from the South-East Asian nations to the Gulf of Aden and adjoining region.




                                                 16
Figure 5: Incidents of piracy worldwide and the Gulf of Aden, 2000–2011
              Source: International Maritime Bureau Reports (various).


The increasing menace of piracy has produced cascading effects both on security at sea as well
as increasing the economic cost of seaborne transportation, including trade and commerce. The
pirates have been raising their ransom demands steeply, from an average of $100,000–200,000 in
2005 to approximately $5.4 million in 2009. The highest ransom was paid to secure the release
of Samho Dream, a South Korean oil tanker, around $9.5 million. The pirates have been using
the ransom money to modernize their attacking equipment and extended their area of operation:
they even reached Lakshadweep in Indian territorial waters.

Several insurance companies have declared the Gulf of Aden and its suburban area as war-
affected region and raised their premiums. Since 2008 the premium charges on ships transiting
the Gulf of Aden have increased by 300 per cent, from $500 per ship per voyage to $150,000 per
ship per voyage in 2010. Annually, 24,000 ships transit the Gulf of Aden; with increased
premium rates the insurance companies are making a profit of approximately $3 to $4 billion

                                              17
annually, which is a net loss to maritime trade passing through the Gulf of Aden. Big ships are
now avoiding the area and choosing the Cape of Good Hope as an alternative sailing route,
suffering in the process additional costs of oil consumption and delays. For instance, it entails an
additional $100,000–500,000 per voyage and 15–17 days of supplementary sailing time for the
longer route.

About 10 per cent of the crew involved in maritime trade are Indians. Consequently, Indian
crews suffer considerably from the ravages of piracy. Mostly, owners of merchant ships do not
care greatly for the safety of their crew: only the parent country comes to their rescue. Therefore,
Indian authorities are under great pressure to ensure the safety and security of Indian personnel
staffing these ships.

Figure 6 shows the expanding area of piracy in the Indian Ocean.




        Figure 6: Expanding Threat Areas of the Pirates in the Gulf of Aden

       Source: Upadayay, 2011.

SLOCs and Chokepoints

SLOCs and ISLs


                                                18
IOR connects the Western world like Europe and Africa with the eastern Pacific and Atlantic
Ocean. Almost 100,000 ships transit the IOR annually, and 24,000 transit though the Gulf of
Aden. These ships ferry two-thirds of global oil, half of the maritime trade, and one-third of
containerized cargo. As much as 95 per cent of India’s foreign trade is seaborne. Being the sixth-
or seventh-largest naval power in the world and foremost in the region, India has two major
responsibilities in IOR: one, to protect and safeguard the SLOCs and ISLs for legal maritime
activity; second, to prevent inimical use of the seas.

Figure 7 provides a glimpse of the importance of the Indian Ocean.




       Figure 7: Major Maritime Arteries of the Indian Ocean
       Source: Upadayay,2011.

Chokepoints

Peninsular India is equidistantly placed between the Straits of Malacca and Hormuz. In western
IOR four chokepoints are seriously considered under India’s maritime security and need special
policy attention. These chokepoints are not only crucial to energy security, but they are also

                                                 19
important to India’s trade and communication links beyond the Indian Ocean. For instance, the
 Cape of Good Hope and Bab-el-Mandeb are important for India’s trade and commence, besides
 the security of energy: they allow India to take its ships beyond Africa. The Suez allows transit
 to the European markets.

 The Strait of Hormuz is a chokepoint to India’s energy supplies. According to the estimates of
 the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the strait recorded a transit volume of 15.4 million
 barrels of oil per day in 1998, which is expected to cross around 30 per cent of the total trade in
 the world. In the event that this strait is closed, Gulf supplies to east of Hormuz will be virtually
 cut off altogether; it will also affect the West considerably. (Table 7)

 Table 7 provides major energy choke points on the western IOR

        Table 7: Major Choke Points on the Western IOR and their Energy Significance

                                    % of total
                          Capacity,              Export
No.     Choke Points                 world                                    Location, comments
                           mm b/d              destination
                                    demand
      Strait of                                Europe, US, Narrow waterway between the Gulf of Oman in the
1                         16.5-17.0   20%
      Hormuz                                      Asia     southeast and the Persian Gulf in the Southeast
      Strait of                                            Lies between & Singapore & connects the Indian Ocean
2                           15.0      18%         Asia
      Malacca                                              with the South China & the Pacific Ocean
                                                           The town, northeast of some of the largest Saudi oilfields
      Abqaiq processing                        Europe, US, (including the large Ghawar filed), houses the largest oil
3                            6.8       8%
      facility                                    Asia     processing plant in the world & handles around 2/3s of
                                                           the entire oil production of Saudi Arabia.
      Suez Canal &                                         The Suez Canal located in Egypt connects the Red Sea &
4                            4.5       5%      Europe, US
      Sumed pipeline                                       Gulf of Suez with the Mediterranean Sea.
                                               Europe, US, Connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden & the
5     Bab-el-Mandeb          3.3       4%
                                                  Asia     Arabian Sea
      Mina al-Ahmadi                           Europe, US, An oil part is north of Ash Shuaiba, & handles most of
                             2.0       2%
      terminal                                    Asia     Kuwait’s petroleum products
                                                           The Al Basrah Oil Terminal (ABOT) is an offshore crude
                                                           oil marine loading terminal located off the south-eastern
      Al Basrah Oil                            Europe, US, coast of Iraq in the Northern Persian Gulf. According to
6                            1.5       2%
      Terminal Iraq                               Asia     the US Embassy in India in Iraq. ABOT is Iraq’s primary
                                                           oil terminal & accounts for 97%bof Iraq’s oil exports
                                                           into world markets.
 Source: Global Equity Research, Energy and Power, Lehman Brothers, January 18, 2006.

 Figure 5 shows the significance of the three chokepoints in energy security. It is noted that 19.4
 per cent of the global oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, followed by Suez (5.3 per cent}
 and Bab-el-Mandeb (3.9 per cent).

                                                        20
Figure 7: Key Oil Transit Points in the Middle East and Share of Global Demand in
       2006
       Source: Cummins (2008), Wall Street Journal.

Maritime Terrorism and Terror-Piracy

There has been evidence of alliance between the Somali pirates and terror outfits. Al-Shabab of
Somalia and al-Qaeda of Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Arab countries,
have tried to sabotage the safety and security of the Gulf waters. In 1998 USS Cole and in 2000
the French tanker MV Limburg were attacked and destroyed by al-Qaeda. In October 2010 two
parcel bombs via UPS and FedEx were dispatched from Yemen; the packages were intercepted
in Dubai and England. AQAP claimed responsibility for the parcel bombs. Several other
unsuccessful attempts on oil takers have also been made. For instance, in July 2010 a Japanese
oil tanker, MV M. Star, was reported to have been hit by an unidentified object whilst passing
the Strait of Hormuz.

Two weak and failing coastal states, Yemen and Somalia, have produced an atmosphere
conducive to piracy and terrorism. It is said that pressure from the so-called global war on terror
led by the United States, focusing on land and aviation security, could force Al Qaida to move to
the seas: pirates for monetary incentive may forge alliances with its offshoots.
                                                21
Figure 8: Possible Terro-Piracy Hot Spots in Indian Ocean.

       Source: Upadayay,2011.


Gwadar: India’s Tight Spot

Developments regarding Gwadar are a new perceived challenge to India’s maritime interest on
the west coast. Gwadar is located at the coastal tip of Baluchistan in Pakistan, few hundred
nautical miles away from India’s nearest port of Kutch, but China’s involvement in the project
has been seen as a part of China’s policy of encircling India to the regional confines of South
Asia. The issue has been seriously discussed ever since Booze and Hamilton, a private consultant
agency, produced a report termed String of Pearls, mentioning a conscious Chinese policy of
building a series of ports in the littoral states, from the South China Sea to western IOR, to
encircle India in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans (Figure 9). Gwadar forms part of the
strategy of checking India in western IOR. With this development, China could also avoid
passing through the main IOR during crises and access the seas via Tibet. China is also


                                              22
significantly dependent upon energy supplies from the Gulf, and has tried to develop alternative
routes to ensure uninterrupted energy supply from the region.




                        Figure 8: Location of Gwadar and Indian Port.
                        Source: Jaffrelot, 2011.

Figure 9 shows the series of ports built by China in the Indian Ocean, which India suspects as an
encirclement policy of India by China in the Indian Ocean.




                                                   23
Figure 9: Ports under String of Pearls
Source:
http://www.marinebuzz.com/marinebuzzuploads/WeekendViewUpdatedChineseStringofPearls_AC3/Chinese_string
_of_pearls.jpg



III. India’s Management of its Maritime Interests

In recent decades India has taken four broad steps to safeguard, secure and enhance its maritime
interests.

First, it has launched a massive modernization and expansion programme of its navy. The
Defence Ministry has raised the budget of the navy by 79.2 per cent between 2003-4 and
2010-11, from approximately Rs. 11,980 crore to 21,467.51 crore.

Second, the Indian Navy has been equipped with modern weapons, equipment and nimble
platforms, both large and small. It has acquired a nuclear submarine, Arihant, purchased aircraft
carrier Gorshkov renamed Vikramaditya, and inducted several missiles and anti-submarine
missiles in its armoury.


                                                 24
Third, the Indian Navy is conducting joint naval exercises with a number of countries. These
included Ex. Malabar (with the US and Japan), Ex. Indra with Russia, France, Ex. Varuna, UK,
Ex. Konkan with France, and two exercises with China, one at Belgaun and second in Yunan
Province. Since 1995, India has also started a multilateral naval meeting under Milan.
Approximately 16 to 13 countries participate in this annual exercise, including some of the Gulf
countries.

Fourth, India has taken an active role in developing regional mechanisms to protect the maritime
interests of IOR littoral states. Among the regional cooperative forums that it has promoted are
he Indian Ocean Rim–Association for Regional Cooperation (AIR-IOR) and the Indian Ocean
Nations Symposium (IONS). The former established in 1995 consists of 17 member states; it has
three major divisions: (i) Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI); (ii) Indian Ocean
Rim Business Forum (IORBF); and, (iii) Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG). Its main
objectives are to protect the interests of the IOR littoral states. The IONS, established in 2008,
has 32 members, including Oman, Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; its charter defines
IONS as a:

            “voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the
           littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for
           discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues and, in the process, endeavours to
           generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common
           understanding and possibly agreements on the way ahead.” 3


In combating piracy the Indian Navy has avoided joining any patrolling groups but has been
actively engaged in patrolling the Gulf of Aden. The Indian Navy sent its first squad to the
region in 2008. India has also raised the legal issue of piracy and expressed its preference to
work under the UN regime than at the behest of any individual country or group. Currently
several major world navies are operating in the Gulf of Aden: US, NATO and European and
independent navies, including those of India, China, Malaysia and Russia. India’s representative
to the UN suggested a five-point programme to tackle piracy under a guided system, ranging
from active patrol at sea to legal arrangements, including codification of piracy laws. Some



3
    Indian Ocean Naval Symposium: http://indiannavy.nic.in/ion.htm. Accessed 12.11.2011
                                                        25
agreements on the Russian suggestion to establish an International Court for Piracy have also
been considered as a compatible option.

IV. Conclusion

During the cold war, India’s IOR policy was limited to seeking to ensure that the IOR remained a
“zone of peace”. In the changed international scenario it becomes essential for India, to
safeguard its maritime interests, to actively engage with all those whose interests are at stake in
this domain. This involves developing close cooperation with several countries that have
considerable naval ability or potential. Among the Gulf states, India has the best relations with
Oman: while the scope for improving these relations still remains wide open, India needs to
consider seriously broadening its relations with other oil-exporting countries in terms of its
maritime horizon. Some of the states requiring focused attention in the different regions of
western IOR are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Seychelles,
Madagascar, and Mauritius. Developing relations with Yemen and Egypt is also required for
smooth transit in the Red Sea and Suez Canal. India also needs to develop a joint policy to
protect chokepoints like the Straits of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb.

Additional policy measures would entail developing naval alliances with France and the US.
India should also provide training and exercise facilities to the Gulf countries. A measure of
universal benefit could be suggesting to the GCC to own an aircraft carrier operating under US
security protection and supported by Indian naval staff.

References

Berlin, L.Donald. 2006. India in the Indian Ocean, Naval War College: ,Newport.
        http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA519745. Accessed 20.11.2011.
Cummins, Chip, 2011. Piracy Grips Gulf of Aden: Attacks on Shipping in Mideast Raise Insurance
        Costs. Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122083029536208391.html. Accessed
        21.11.2011.
Freedom         to      Use      the       Seas:       India’s      Maritime    Military     Strategy,
        2007.http://indiannavy.nic.in/maritime_strat.pdf. Accessed 19.11.2011.
Holmes, James J., Andrew C. Winner and Toshi Yoshihara, 2009. Indian Naval Strategy in the Twenty-
        first Century, London: Routledge.
Indian Hydrocarbon Vision- 2025, New Delhi: Ministry of Petroleum and Gas.
International Maritime Bureau Reports, London: IIC Commercial crime Service. (various issues)


                                                 26
Jaffrelot, Christophe,2011. A Tale of Two Ports: Gwadar and Chabahar display Chinese-Indian rivalry
         in the Arabian Sea, Yale Global, 7 January 2011. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/tale-two-
         ports. Accessed 22 .11 2011.
Maritime Agenda 2010–2020, Ministry of Shipping, Government of India.

Mahan, Captain A.T., 2003. The Influence of Sea Power upon History 1660–1783, Dehradun: Natraj.
Naylor, Thomas P., 2009. Maritime Tankers: Terrorist Threats, Consequences and Protective Measures,
        New York: NOVA Science Publishers.
Nelson, Rick Ozzie and Scott Goossens, 2011. Counter-Piracy in the Arabian Sea: Challenges and
        Opportunities for GCC Action, Middle East Programme, Gulf Analysis Paper,Washington:
        Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
Noer, John H., 1996. Choke Points: Maritime Economic Concerns in Southeast Asia, Alexandria: Centre
        for Naval Analysis.
Pannikar, K.M., 1945. India and the Indian Ocean: An Essay on the Influence of Sea Power on Indian
        History, London: George Allen & Unwin.
Roy Chaudhary, Rahul, 2000. India’s Maritime Security, New Delhi: Knowledge World.
Sakhuja, Cdr. Vijay, 2001. Confidence Building from the Sea: An Indian Initiative, New Delhi:
        Knowledge World (A United Service Institution of India Project).
Singh, K.R., 2008. Maritime Security for India: New Challenges and Responses, New Delhi: New
        Century.
The Strait of Hormuz: Global shipping and trade implications in the event of closure, 1997. Office of
        Naval Intelligence, US Navy, 1997, p. 5.
Upadayay, Shisir, 2011. Combating Piracy in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi: Manas Publication.

Young, Adam J., 2007. Contemporary Maritime Piracy in South Asia: History, Causes and Remedies,
        Singapore: ISEAS (Institute of South-East Asian Studies).
Basic Statistics on Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas, 2009-10, New Delhi: Ministry of Petroleum and
        Natural Gas, Government of India,(Economic Division).
Ministry      of    Commerce       and     Industry,   New      Delhi: Government       of    India.
        http://commerce.nic.in/eidb/default.asp



                                         -------------------------




                                                   27

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India's maritime Policy Towards Gulf States

  • 1. India’s Maritime Policy towards the Gulf States: Planning, Projection and Prescription Zakir Hussain Research Fellow Indian Council of World Affairs Sapru House, New Delhi. 110 001 India 1
  • 2. Abstract: The peninsular outreach of India in the Indian Ocean assigns it a naturally predominant maritime status among the world powers. The incontestable fact, however, is that though the various coastal kingdoms constituting present-day India had legendary maritime prowess, independent India took an inordinately long time to evolve its hesitant maritime doctrine. In the positive perspective of history, this is merely a recounting of times bygone. Nevertheless, current policymakers can learn from this recounting. In the current scenario of India’s growing presence on the international scene, the country’s policymakers need to take advantage of every available opportunity to ensure its presence in the maritime field in the interests of a prosperous and secure world order. This paper would aim at studying India’s maritime policy towards the Gulf states, which account high in India’s overall national interests, including security of energy, safe passage of trade and commerce, maintaining a safe and secure Sea Line of Communications (SLOCs), besides ensuring effective security to the nation. The present paper is divided into three sub-parts. Part I deals with India’s Maritime Policy; Part II deals India’s Maritime Stakes and Challenges in the Western Indian Ocean Region; Part III Management of India’s maritime Interest. About the Author: 2
  • 3. Dr. Zakir Hussain is Research Fellow at the Indian Council of World Affairs. His area of research is the political economy of West Asia and the Gulf. He has a rich experience on diverse issues of the Gulf region, including migration, energy, nuclear, maritime geo-strategy and India’s foreign relations with Gulf countries in the age of globalization and post-cold war. Before joining this institute, he was associated with International national Organisation, National Labour of Institute of India, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and National Maritime Foundation. His book on India and Gulf: Emerging Dynamics is forthcoming. He can be accessed: shahabzakir@gmail.com. Mobile: +91-7838608840. Currently he is working on Saudi Arabia and India in the 21st Century in the Gulf. Disclaimer: Views are solely of the author. ICWA has nothing to do with this view. India’s Maritime Policy towards the Gulf States: Planning, Projection and Prescription 3
  • 4. Dr. Zakir Hussian Maritime policy essentially enunciates the protection, preservation, and augmentation of the national interest accruing from a country’s territorial waters and in international waters. Since time immemorial the oceans have played a crucial role in safeguarding and enhancing India’s national interests. Peninsular morphology has assigned to India a maritime status based on incontestable natural foundations. It is a fact, however, that India’s hesitant maritime doctrine took a long time to evolve, mature, and assert itself. For long decades the country suffered from virtual “sea blindness”. The consequence was that it prospered less than it could have and compromised on its territorial sovereignty. This in spite of the fact that Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first Prime Minister, asserted: We cannot afford to be weak at sea. History has shown that whoever controls the Indian Ocean has, in the first instance, India’s seaborne trade at her mercy and, in the second, India’s very independence itself. (Berlin, 2000) Geographically, the southern Indian peninsula halves the country’s maritime domain into eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and western IOR. Eastern IOR encompasses the South China Sea and beyond: India’s seaborne trade and traffic extends to the US in this direction; western IOR reaches up to the Cape of Good Hope and east of Africa; while the lower south reaches Antarctica. The western IOR is controlled by four entry points: Cape of Good Hope, Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Bab el-Mandeb and Suez Canal; eastern IOR is safeguarded by three straits: Malacca, Sunda and Lombok. In India’s policy regarding IOR, both IOR halves have helped, even beyond IOR, including the South China Sea, through which a great deal of Indian trade transits. However, on account of vital stakes such as energy, trade, diaspora and major sea lines of communication (SLOCs), western IOR plays a crucial role in India’s economic and political strategy regarding IOR. For India, in both advantages and security challenges, the two halves of IOR have different connotations. China’s presence in the eastern region poses for India a geo-strategically tough policy option. The Indian Maritime Doctrine of 2004 takes note of “attempts by China to 4
  • 5. strategically encircle India” and comments adversely on “China’s vigorous exertions that tend to spill over into our maritime zone”. While western IOR does not pose any big-power threat, the emergence of strong asymmetrical forces in recent years, including non-state actors and their attempts to make inimical use of the sea, pose serious challenges to the maritime interests of India as well as other nations in the region. Statistically, only 20 per cent of the seaborne trade that transits through the Indian Ocean belongs to the littoral states, the rest of it belonging to exogenous countries. Based on these realities, India’s maritime policy towards the Gulf, though not openly pronounced, has some nuanced differences from its policy towards eastern IOR. The diverse sets of stakes and challenges have convinced Indian policymakers to develop different sets of maritime policy matrixes between the two IOR sectors. Against this backdrop, this paper attempts to elucidate existing elements of India’s maritime policy vis-à-vis the Gulf region and the required modifications in it. It aims at the following: (i) explain and analyse the broad contours of India’s maritime policy; (ii) discuss India’s maritime interest – both stakes and challenges – in the Gulf; (iii) discuss India’s efforts to manage its maritime interests in the region, including policies and alliances; (iv) and based on this discussion, come to certain conclusions. I. India’s Maritime Doctrine The Rig Veda of yore invokes the following prayer: Shano Varuna (“Be auspicious to us, O Varuna”, Varuna being the Lord of the Sea). This is reflective of India’s long maritime tradition, spanning more than four thousand years. The term “maritime” in general encompasses many aspects that pertain to the sea, such as economic, political, military, scientific, technological, and environmental. Maritime issues include seaborne trade and commerce, delimitation of international seaward boundaries, deployment and employment of naval forces, and the management of the living and non-living resources of the sea. The strategy of the Indian Maritime Doctrine is designed to “respond to a range of external threats and safeguard India’s economic, political and security interests in the maritime domain, with a purposefully designed set of maritime capabilities”. The doctrine has explained the concept of and principles underlying India’s naval power. We notice that in recent years the Indian Navy’s maritime strategy has 5
  • 6. focused on three crucial elements, namely, national interest, perceived threats and naval capabilities. India’s Maritime Doctrine has enumerated the role, missions and operational tasks of the Indian Navy, underlining the likely scenario of the use of naval force: • Conflict with a state in India’s immediate neighbourhood or clash of interest with an extra-regional power • Operation in extended and/or strategic neighbourhood in response to a request for assistance from a friendly nation • Anti-terrorist operations, conducted multilaterally or unilaterally • Actions to fulfil international bilateral strategic partnership obligations • Ensuring good order at sea, which includes Low Intensity Maritime Operation (LIMO), to combat asymmetric warfare, poaching, piracy and trafficking in arms/ drugs • Ensuring safety and security of international shipping lanes (ISLs) through the Indian Ocean • Actions to assist the Indian diaspora and Indian interests abroad • Peacekeeping operations, under the aegis of the United Nations, independently or as part of a multinational force. Maritime Domain Awareness The next focus of the Indian Maritime Doctrine is to clearly outline the maritime domain of the country, so that the Indian Navy can perform its task smoothly and confidently, particularly in the presence of neutral warships and mercantile marine during maritime warfare. Table 1 shows the basic features of the Indian maritime domains, total length of coastline, island territories and maritime jurisdictions. Table 1: Maritime statistics of India Total Length of Coastline 7516.6 km Mainland 5422.6 km 6
  • 7. Lakshadweep Islands 132 km A&N Islands 1962 km Island Territories 1197 A&N Islands 572 Lakshadweep Islands 27 Off West Coast mainland 447 Off East Coast mainland 151 Maritime Jurisdiction UNCLOS Ratification dated 29 June 1995 Territorial Waters 45,450 sq km/155,889 sq km Extent of EEZ 587,600 sq km/2,013,410 sq km Deep Sea Mining Area 150,000 sq km Pioneer Investor 1987 Posn-180 Cape Comorin 1080 km Antarctica Dakshin Gangotri-1983 Maitri-1989 Source: Freedom to Use Sea, 2007. Area of Maritime Interest The Indian Maritime Doctrine has reiterated its faith in the sixteenth-century Portuguese Governor Alfonso de Albuquerque’s view, who once ruled in the IOR, that “the control of the key chokepoints extending from the Horn of Africa to the Cape of Good Hope and the Malacca Strait is essential to prevent any inimical power from making an entry into the Indian Ocean”. Considering the vast expanse of the IOR, around 68.558 million sq km, and the present capacity of the Indian Navy to manage the maritime affairs, Indian policymakers have bifurcated India’s maritime interests into Primary and Secondary Areas. The former represents the immediate and core interests of the country; the latter carries futuristic stakes, depending upon the future expansion of the Indian naval power in the region and beyond. The Indian Maritime Doctrine 2009 enumerates the following areas of interest: The Primary Areas of maritime interest include: • The Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, which largely encompass India’s EEZ, island territories and their littoral reaches • The chokepoints leading to and from the Indian Ocean – principally the Strait of Malacca, the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb and the Cape of Good Hope 7
  • 8. The Island countries • The Persian Gulf, which is the source of majority of the country’s oil supplies • The principal ISLs crossing the IOR The Secondary Areas include: • The Southern IOR • The Red Sea • The South China Sea • The East Pacific Region Figure 1 graphically shows the area of India’s maritime interests. Figure 1: Maritime Domain of India Source: Berlin, 2006 8
  • 9. II. India’s Maritime Stakes and Challenges in Western IOR A: Stakes India’s maritime stakes in western IOR are significantly high. India’s rapid economic growth, soaring energy dependence, presence of vast diaspora, geo-political location as well as overall peace, security and stability in the region are crucially linked to the state of affairs in this sector of IOR. Over the years, these factors have required of India to evolve a consistent, stable and broad-based maritime policy towards the Gulf States. Maritime Trade and Energy Security India’s economic future depends on maritime trade; nearly 95 per cent of its trade by volume and 77 per cent by value is seaborne. Sustained high economic growth in the post-liberalization era has not only increased India’s trade-GDP ratio from 9 per cent in 1990-91 to 19 per cent in 1998-99 to 25 per cent to the present but also enhanced its share in global trade from 0.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent. The Indian economy has become integrated with the major economies of the world; consequently, its trade both by volume as well as value has grown rapidly. For instance, in 1998-99 India’s total foreign trade was of US$ 75.52 billion which increased to US$ 467.12 billion in 2009-10. As a result the capacity of Indian ports to handle foreign trade has also grown simultaneously; the volume of traffic handled by Indian ports grew from 244.15 million tonnes (MT) in 1998-99 to 849.9 MT in 2009-10. According to the Maritime Agenda 2010–2020, over the last ten years (1998/99-2008/09) the Indian seaborne trade has been growing at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 11.38 per cent; before the economic crisis, it was 12.25. At CAGR of 12.25 per cent, the Maritime Report estimated that in absolute terms, the Indian seaborne trade is expected to grow from the current 598.7 MT to 2,134 MT by 2020, i.e. about 3.56 times the current trade, leading to an increase in India’s share in global seaborne trade from the current 3.66 per cent to 9.3 per cent by 2020. Table 2 shows the past and projected Indian seaborne EXIM trade. Table 2. India’s past and projected seaborne EXIM Trade, 1998/99–2008/9 Year 1998-99 1999-00 2000-1 2001-2 2002-3 2003-4 2004-5 2005-6 2006-7 2007-8 2008-9 2019-20 9
  • 10. Million Tonnes 203.7 224.6 244.3 273 280.3 345.7 400.6 447.1 497.8 576.4 598.7 2134 Source: Maritime Agenda 2010–2020. The rise in India’s seaborne trade is attributed more to the countries in western IOR. The intensity is more towards the Gulf-OPEC and African countries. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has emerged as the second-largest trading hub of India. India’s non-oil trade with some of the GCC countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Iran has been consistently going up. In 2009 the UAE emerged as India’s leading non-oil trading partner, with a total trade of more than US$45 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia as the fourth-largest non-oil trading partner (around $23 billion). Several factors have contributed to the quantum jump in Indo-Gulf bilateral trade. A prominent factor is policy transformation of both sides. India considers the Gulf region as its “extended neighbourhood”. Similar to the 1990s’ “Look East Policy”, in 2005 the Indian government announced a “Look West Policy”. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated: The Gulf region, like South-East and South Asia, is part of our natural economic hinterland. We must pursue closer economic relations with all our neighbours in our wider Asian neighbourhood. India has successfully pursued a “Look East” policy to come closer to the countries of South East Asia. We must come closer to our western neighbours in the Gulf.1 He directed the Commerce and External Affairs Ministries to rapidly conclude the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation with the GCC. He also emphasized the need to promote bilateral negotiations with all individual member countries of the GCC for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) covering the services and investment sectors. It is expected that once the FTA is signed, India-GCC trade between will increase by about three and a half times the current size. Similarly, the Gulf countries have realized the growing potential of the Indian economy and technological prowess. Under its Look East Policy, the GCC Chamber of Trade and Commerce has also shown an interest in economically targeting large and populous countries like China, India and Malaysia in Asia. 1 PM Launches ‘Look West’ Policy to Boost Cooperation with Gulf”, Press release, Prime Minister’s Office, July 27, 2005. Available at http://pmindia.nic.in/prelease/pcontent.asp?id=278. Accessed 21.11.2011. 10
  • 11. This has considerably increased the prospects of maritime interactions between India and the Gulf countries. During his recent visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Indian Prime Minister has also opened the prospects of better trade and commercial relations with African countries. Table 3 shows the rising volume of trade between India and the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region. Table 3: WANA share in Indian trade during 1998/99–2009/10 (in US$ Million) Year 1998-99 1999-00 2000-1 2001-2 2002-3 2003-4 Total Indian 75,607.43 86,560.55 95,096.74 95,240.00 114,131.57 141,991.66 Trade WANA Share 15.8 16.4 9.1 9.4 9.7 10.6 (%) Year 2004-5 2005-6 2006-7 2007-8 2008-9 2009-10 Total Indian 195,053.37 252,256.26 312,149.29 414,786.19 488,991.67 467,124.31 Trade WANA Share 12.2 10.9 23.8 24.7 27.0 25.9 (%) Source: Ministry of Trade and Commerce, India, accessed 17.08.2011. Energy Security A factor that can seriously compromise India’s economic growth, currently at 9 per cent, is interruption in hydrocarbons supply from the Persian Gulf countries. Currently, 65 per cent of India’s oil import comes from the Gulf region; this is expected to grow to 85 per cent of the total 95 per cent import by 2030. Nirupama Rao, who was then Foreign Secretary, said that by 2020 India would be consuming around 245 MT of oil, which would be third in the world and second in Asia. Any blockade either at chokepoints – Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb and at the Suez Canal; or disruption in SLOCs – in the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea – would not only severely threaten India’s energy security but also critically affect its economy, polity and society. Other countries that critically depend upon the Middle East oil, such as China, Japan, European countries and the US, would also encounter a serious energy crisis. Therefore, security of energy at sea is a crucial agenda of India’s maritime policy and maritime interest. To 11
  • 12. India, securing energy supply is more important than for any other country in the world. According to Rao (2000), India is far more dependent than the US or even the former Western Europe on import of crude oil from West Asia. Whereas 90 per cent of India’s total imports of oil were sourced from the Persian Gulf, the equivalent figure for the US and Japan were 19 per cent and 74 per cent. In addition, the bulk of India’s domestic oil production is offshore; these offshore installations also need effective protection. Besides building huge offshore oil establishment, ONGC, GAIL (Gas Indian Limited) and other bodies have invested massively in on land infrastructures, including pipelines, LNG terminals etc. As noted by Freedom to Use Seas (2007): “Today, the offshore infrastructure of ONGC includes over 25 Process Platforms and more than 125 Well Platforms. In addition, over 3000 km pipeline has been laid on the seabed for the flow of oil and gas from the process platforms to onshore terminals at Hazira and Uran. The offshore regions where productions are taking place cover a total area in excess of 17,000 sq nm and it extends more that 100 nm into the EEZ. Offshore fields are, therefore, national assets of vital economic importance and any breakdown in either production of oil or gas or deviation in planned construction and expansion of the means of production is likely to adversely affect the long term strategic planning of the national economy…Since there are no physical barriers at sea, our offshore infrastructure is extremely vulnerable to disruptive attacks. It is obvious there is a need for constant surveillance and protection of these assets.”2 Since 1990, India has also ventured out to acquire oil acreages abroad. India’s OVL (ONGC Videsh Limited) has been actively engaged in a dozen foreign oilfields; except Sakhalin, Russia, its bulk of oil is transported through three most risky chokepoints: the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb. Table 4: India’s Domestic Oil Production and Consumption, 1970-/71-2009/10 (000’ tonnes) Year 1970-71 1979-80 1989-90 1999-00 2001-2 2003-4 2004-5 2005-6 2006-7 2007-8 2008-9 2009-10 Domestic 6,822 11,766 34,087 31,949 32,032 33,498 33,498 32,190 33,988 34,118 33,506 33,691 Production Domestic Consumptio 18,505 27,887 53,577 89,754 1,10,738 1,23,807 1,29,355 1,22,353 1,31,669 1,40,697 1,45,312 1,49,803 n Source: Petroleum Statistics, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, (relevant issues) 2 Freedom to Use the Seas: India’s Maritime Military Strategy, http://indiannavy.nic.in/maritime_strat.pdf 12
  • 13. Figure 2: Domestic Production and Consumption of Crude Oil in India, 1970/71-2009/10 (in 000 Tonnes) Source: based on Table 4. Figures 3 and 4 show the oil demand, domestic production and total import as well as major destinations of crude oil imports. Fig 3: Demand Projection Fig 4: Import & Domestic Production Destinations 13
  • 14. Figures 3 and 4: Projection of oil demand, domestic production and percentage of import from different regions and countries, 2001/2–2024/25. Source: Indian Hydrocarbons Vision (IHV) 2025 and data from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. However, India has also emerged as a significant supplier of refined petroleum products to most of the countries like Iran, Oman. Its export of these products increased from 23.4 MMT in 2005-06 to 144.03 MMT in 2009-10. The importing countries on western IOR are primarily Iran, Oman, Bahrain and some Western countries. This also demands security of transportation. Natural Gas If the twentieth century was the century of oil, the twenty-first, it is said, belongs to natural gas. Natural gas is a clean and green source of energy; it is 40 per cent less polluting, relatively cheap, geographically more evenly distributed, as well as less susceptible to price fluctuation than oil. Consequently, under its energy diversification programme, the Indian government has also promoted the use of natural gas. Consumption of natural gas in India has grown rapidly in recent decades. Under the government’s Vision Document, by 2020 the authorities have targeted to increase the share of gas in the total energy mix from the present 9 per cent to 15 per cent. To meet its demand, India has signed one of the biggest long-term LNG contracts with Qatar. Over a period of twenty-five years, Qatar would supply approximately 24 MT of LNG, in three phases. Bedsides Qatar, Iran and Oman have been India’s LNG suppliers from the Gulf countries. On account of political logjam in the IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline) and TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipelines on one hand and growing gas consumption in India on the other, LNG import will increase in a big way. (Table 5) Most of the LNG carriers will ferry through the Western IOR, hence, they need effective protection at sea. Table 5 shows the past and projected demand for natural gas in India. Table 5: India’s Projected Natural Gas Demand,2004/5-2024/25 Base Year: 1997-(59 MSCMD) Year 2004-05 2009-10 2014-15 2019-20 2024-25 Gas Demand 195 277 329 358 391 Source: Indian Hydrocarbons Vision (IHV) 2025. 14
  • 15. The Diaspora Another important dimension of India’s maritime policy regarding the Gulf countries has been shaped by the presence of the vast Indian diaspora community in the region. Approximately 5 million Indian expatriates are present in different Gulf countries, the majority being in the six GCC countries, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. (Table 6) In any emergency situation, such as occurred in the Gulf crisis 1990, the Lebanon war (2006) and the recent Libyan crisis, the Indian Navy has been called upon to evacuate the Indian expatriates at short notice. This possibility has been enunciated in the Indian Maritime Doctrine of 2009 as “action to assist the Indian diaspora and the Indian interests abroad”. During the Lebanon crisis, the Indian Navy deployed two ships to evacuate Indian workers from the region; workers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal were also taken on board. In the recent Libyan crisis the Indian Navy was assigned the task of evacuating 17,000 Indians from Libya. Three ships were engaged in the task and within a fortnight the mission was accomplished. Table 6 shows the share of GCC countries in total clearance of migration during 1975-2010. Table 6: Percentage Share of Migration Clearance to the GCC States in Total Year 1975 1979 1981 1990 1995 2000 2001 2005 2010 Total Clearance 2,66,555 5,01,000 5,94,500 1,43,565 4,15,334 2,43,182 2,78,664 5,48,853 6,41,356 s GCC 96.7 86.5 88.3 95.6 92.6 72.4 83.5 82.8 95.2 Share (%) Source: Office of Protector General of Emigrants, Govt. of India & Annual Report,2010-11, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, GOI. . Economically, the Gulf diaspora community has been consistently contributing to the Indian economy through constant flow of remittances. Currently, India receives approximately $53 billion remittances; approximately, 40 per cent is coming from the Gulf region. B: Challenges The challenges to India’s maritime interests in western IOR are myriad. Although unlike the eastern sector, western IOR is not intensely subjected to international rivalry and encirclements, in recent years the rise and presence of strong asymmetrical forces, including non-state actors, and their alliance with forces that contemplate inimical use of the sea have posed serious 15
  • 16. challenges to Indian maritime interests. Re-emergence of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and adjoining regions, the possibility of terror-piracy (alliance between pirates and terrorist groups at sea), geopolitical instability in the energy-rich nations leading to possible blockade of chokepoints, instability at sea as well as protection of SLOCs and ISLs and the misuse of sea for illegal activities like narco-terrorism, gunrunning, human trafficking, etc., are some of the major challenges India and other nations might confront in the region. Piracy in the Gulf of Aden At the onset of the current century, piracy resurfaced in the Gulf of Aden and its suburban region. Somali pirates made global headlines for the first time on 5 November 2005, when they tried to hijack the US cruise-liner Seaborne Spirit approximately 75 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. Their second, and successful, attack was on an Indian dhow Bhakti Sagar in February 2006. Since then these pirates have stepped up their adventurism. In 2006, only 22 incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden were reported; 51 in 2007; 111 in 2008; 217 in 2009 and 2010; and by mid- 2011, 117 cases were reported. Figure 5 shows the rising tide of piracy in the Gulf of Aden. It also shows the shifting destination of piracy from the South-East Asian nations to the Gulf of Aden and adjoining region. 16
  • 17. Figure 5: Incidents of piracy worldwide and the Gulf of Aden, 2000–2011 Source: International Maritime Bureau Reports (various). The increasing menace of piracy has produced cascading effects both on security at sea as well as increasing the economic cost of seaborne transportation, including trade and commerce. The pirates have been raising their ransom demands steeply, from an average of $100,000–200,000 in 2005 to approximately $5.4 million in 2009. The highest ransom was paid to secure the release of Samho Dream, a South Korean oil tanker, around $9.5 million. The pirates have been using the ransom money to modernize their attacking equipment and extended their area of operation: they even reached Lakshadweep in Indian territorial waters. Several insurance companies have declared the Gulf of Aden and its suburban area as war- affected region and raised their premiums. Since 2008 the premium charges on ships transiting the Gulf of Aden have increased by 300 per cent, from $500 per ship per voyage to $150,000 per ship per voyage in 2010. Annually, 24,000 ships transit the Gulf of Aden; with increased premium rates the insurance companies are making a profit of approximately $3 to $4 billion 17
  • 18. annually, which is a net loss to maritime trade passing through the Gulf of Aden. Big ships are now avoiding the area and choosing the Cape of Good Hope as an alternative sailing route, suffering in the process additional costs of oil consumption and delays. For instance, it entails an additional $100,000–500,000 per voyage and 15–17 days of supplementary sailing time for the longer route. About 10 per cent of the crew involved in maritime trade are Indians. Consequently, Indian crews suffer considerably from the ravages of piracy. Mostly, owners of merchant ships do not care greatly for the safety of their crew: only the parent country comes to their rescue. Therefore, Indian authorities are under great pressure to ensure the safety and security of Indian personnel staffing these ships. Figure 6 shows the expanding area of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Figure 6: Expanding Threat Areas of the Pirates in the Gulf of Aden Source: Upadayay, 2011. SLOCs and Chokepoints SLOCs and ISLs 18
  • 19. IOR connects the Western world like Europe and Africa with the eastern Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. Almost 100,000 ships transit the IOR annually, and 24,000 transit though the Gulf of Aden. These ships ferry two-thirds of global oil, half of the maritime trade, and one-third of containerized cargo. As much as 95 per cent of India’s foreign trade is seaborne. Being the sixth- or seventh-largest naval power in the world and foremost in the region, India has two major responsibilities in IOR: one, to protect and safeguard the SLOCs and ISLs for legal maritime activity; second, to prevent inimical use of the seas. Figure 7 provides a glimpse of the importance of the Indian Ocean. Figure 7: Major Maritime Arteries of the Indian Ocean Source: Upadayay,2011. Chokepoints Peninsular India is equidistantly placed between the Straits of Malacca and Hormuz. In western IOR four chokepoints are seriously considered under India’s maritime security and need special policy attention. These chokepoints are not only crucial to energy security, but they are also 19
  • 20. important to India’s trade and communication links beyond the Indian Ocean. For instance, the Cape of Good Hope and Bab-el-Mandeb are important for India’s trade and commence, besides the security of energy: they allow India to take its ships beyond Africa. The Suez allows transit to the European markets. The Strait of Hormuz is a chokepoint to India’s energy supplies. According to the estimates of the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the strait recorded a transit volume of 15.4 million barrels of oil per day in 1998, which is expected to cross around 30 per cent of the total trade in the world. In the event that this strait is closed, Gulf supplies to east of Hormuz will be virtually cut off altogether; it will also affect the West considerably. (Table 7) Table 7 provides major energy choke points on the western IOR Table 7: Major Choke Points on the Western IOR and their Energy Significance % of total Capacity, Export No. Choke Points world Location, comments mm b/d destination demand Strait of Europe, US, Narrow waterway between the Gulf of Oman in the 1 16.5-17.0 20% Hormuz Asia southeast and the Persian Gulf in the Southeast Strait of Lies between & Singapore & connects the Indian Ocean 2 15.0 18% Asia Malacca with the South China & the Pacific Ocean The town, northeast of some of the largest Saudi oilfields Abqaiq processing Europe, US, (including the large Ghawar filed), houses the largest oil 3 6.8 8% facility Asia processing plant in the world & handles around 2/3s of the entire oil production of Saudi Arabia. Suez Canal & The Suez Canal located in Egypt connects the Red Sea & 4 4.5 5% Europe, US Sumed pipeline Gulf of Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. Europe, US, Connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden & the 5 Bab-el-Mandeb 3.3 4% Asia Arabian Sea Mina al-Ahmadi Europe, US, An oil part is north of Ash Shuaiba, & handles most of 2.0 2% terminal Asia Kuwait’s petroleum products The Al Basrah Oil Terminal (ABOT) is an offshore crude oil marine loading terminal located off the south-eastern Al Basrah Oil Europe, US, coast of Iraq in the Northern Persian Gulf. According to 6 1.5 2% Terminal Iraq Asia the US Embassy in India in Iraq. ABOT is Iraq’s primary oil terminal & accounts for 97%bof Iraq’s oil exports into world markets. Source: Global Equity Research, Energy and Power, Lehman Brothers, January 18, 2006. Figure 5 shows the significance of the three chokepoints in energy security. It is noted that 19.4 per cent of the global oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, followed by Suez (5.3 per cent} and Bab-el-Mandeb (3.9 per cent). 20
  • 21. Figure 7: Key Oil Transit Points in the Middle East and Share of Global Demand in 2006 Source: Cummins (2008), Wall Street Journal. Maritime Terrorism and Terror-Piracy There has been evidence of alliance between the Somali pirates and terror outfits. Al-Shabab of Somalia and al-Qaeda of Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Arab countries, have tried to sabotage the safety and security of the Gulf waters. In 1998 USS Cole and in 2000 the French tanker MV Limburg were attacked and destroyed by al-Qaeda. In October 2010 two parcel bombs via UPS and FedEx were dispatched from Yemen; the packages were intercepted in Dubai and England. AQAP claimed responsibility for the parcel bombs. Several other unsuccessful attempts on oil takers have also been made. For instance, in July 2010 a Japanese oil tanker, MV M. Star, was reported to have been hit by an unidentified object whilst passing the Strait of Hormuz. Two weak and failing coastal states, Yemen and Somalia, have produced an atmosphere conducive to piracy and terrorism. It is said that pressure from the so-called global war on terror led by the United States, focusing on land and aviation security, could force Al Qaida to move to the seas: pirates for monetary incentive may forge alliances with its offshoots. 21
  • 22. Figure 8: Possible Terro-Piracy Hot Spots in Indian Ocean. Source: Upadayay,2011. Gwadar: India’s Tight Spot Developments regarding Gwadar are a new perceived challenge to India’s maritime interest on the west coast. Gwadar is located at the coastal tip of Baluchistan in Pakistan, few hundred nautical miles away from India’s nearest port of Kutch, but China’s involvement in the project has been seen as a part of China’s policy of encircling India to the regional confines of South Asia. The issue has been seriously discussed ever since Booze and Hamilton, a private consultant agency, produced a report termed String of Pearls, mentioning a conscious Chinese policy of building a series of ports in the littoral states, from the South China Sea to western IOR, to encircle India in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans (Figure 9). Gwadar forms part of the strategy of checking India in western IOR. With this development, China could also avoid passing through the main IOR during crises and access the seas via Tibet. China is also 22
  • 23. significantly dependent upon energy supplies from the Gulf, and has tried to develop alternative routes to ensure uninterrupted energy supply from the region. Figure 8: Location of Gwadar and Indian Port. Source: Jaffrelot, 2011. Figure 9 shows the series of ports built by China in the Indian Ocean, which India suspects as an encirclement policy of India by China in the Indian Ocean. 23
  • 24. Figure 9: Ports under String of Pearls Source: http://www.marinebuzz.com/marinebuzzuploads/WeekendViewUpdatedChineseStringofPearls_AC3/Chinese_string _of_pearls.jpg III. India’s Management of its Maritime Interests In recent decades India has taken four broad steps to safeguard, secure and enhance its maritime interests. First, it has launched a massive modernization and expansion programme of its navy. The Defence Ministry has raised the budget of the navy by 79.2 per cent between 2003-4 and 2010-11, from approximately Rs. 11,980 crore to 21,467.51 crore. Second, the Indian Navy has been equipped with modern weapons, equipment and nimble platforms, both large and small. It has acquired a nuclear submarine, Arihant, purchased aircraft carrier Gorshkov renamed Vikramaditya, and inducted several missiles and anti-submarine missiles in its armoury. 24
  • 25. Third, the Indian Navy is conducting joint naval exercises with a number of countries. These included Ex. Malabar (with the US and Japan), Ex. Indra with Russia, France, Ex. Varuna, UK, Ex. Konkan with France, and two exercises with China, one at Belgaun and second in Yunan Province. Since 1995, India has also started a multilateral naval meeting under Milan. Approximately 16 to 13 countries participate in this annual exercise, including some of the Gulf countries. Fourth, India has taken an active role in developing regional mechanisms to protect the maritime interests of IOR littoral states. Among the regional cooperative forums that it has promoted are he Indian Ocean Rim–Association for Regional Cooperation (AIR-IOR) and the Indian Ocean Nations Symposium (IONS). The former established in 1995 consists of 17 member states; it has three major divisions: (i) Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI); (ii) Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum (IORBF); and, (iii) Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG). Its main objectives are to protect the interests of the IOR littoral states. The IONS, established in 2008, has 32 members, including Oman, Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; its charter defines IONS as a: “voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues and, in the process, endeavours to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly agreements on the way ahead.” 3 In combating piracy the Indian Navy has avoided joining any patrolling groups but has been actively engaged in patrolling the Gulf of Aden. The Indian Navy sent its first squad to the region in 2008. India has also raised the legal issue of piracy and expressed its preference to work under the UN regime than at the behest of any individual country or group. Currently several major world navies are operating in the Gulf of Aden: US, NATO and European and independent navies, including those of India, China, Malaysia and Russia. India’s representative to the UN suggested a five-point programme to tackle piracy under a guided system, ranging from active patrol at sea to legal arrangements, including codification of piracy laws. Some 3 Indian Ocean Naval Symposium: http://indiannavy.nic.in/ion.htm. Accessed 12.11.2011 25
  • 26. agreements on the Russian suggestion to establish an International Court for Piracy have also been considered as a compatible option. IV. Conclusion During the cold war, India’s IOR policy was limited to seeking to ensure that the IOR remained a “zone of peace”. In the changed international scenario it becomes essential for India, to safeguard its maritime interests, to actively engage with all those whose interests are at stake in this domain. This involves developing close cooperation with several countries that have considerable naval ability or potential. Among the Gulf states, India has the best relations with Oman: while the scope for improving these relations still remains wide open, India needs to consider seriously broadening its relations with other oil-exporting countries in terms of its maritime horizon. Some of the states requiring focused attention in the different regions of western IOR are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Seychelles, Madagascar, and Mauritius. Developing relations with Yemen and Egypt is also required for smooth transit in the Red Sea and Suez Canal. India also needs to develop a joint policy to protect chokepoints like the Straits of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb. Additional policy measures would entail developing naval alliances with France and the US. India should also provide training and exercise facilities to the Gulf countries. A measure of universal benefit could be suggesting to the GCC to own an aircraft carrier operating under US security protection and supported by Indian naval staff. References Berlin, L.Donald. 2006. India in the Indian Ocean, Naval War College: ,Newport. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA519745. Accessed 20.11.2011. Cummins, Chip, 2011. Piracy Grips Gulf of Aden: Attacks on Shipping in Mideast Raise Insurance Costs. Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122083029536208391.html. Accessed 21.11.2011. Freedom to Use the Seas: India’s Maritime Military Strategy, 2007.http://indiannavy.nic.in/maritime_strat.pdf. Accessed 19.11.2011. Holmes, James J., Andrew C. Winner and Toshi Yoshihara, 2009. Indian Naval Strategy in the Twenty- first Century, London: Routledge. Indian Hydrocarbon Vision- 2025, New Delhi: Ministry of Petroleum and Gas. International Maritime Bureau Reports, London: IIC Commercial crime Service. (various issues) 26
  • 27. Jaffrelot, Christophe,2011. A Tale of Two Ports: Gwadar and Chabahar display Chinese-Indian rivalry in the Arabian Sea, Yale Global, 7 January 2011. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/tale-two- ports. Accessed 22 .11 2011. Maritime Agenda 2010–2020, Ministry of Shipping, Government of India. Mahan, Captain A.T., 2003. The Influence of Sea Power upon History 1660–1783, Dehradun: Natraj. Naylor, Thomas P., 2009. Maritime Tankers: Terrorist Threats, Consequences and Protective Measures, New York: NOVA Science Publishers. Nelson, Rick Ozzie and Scott Goossens, 2011. Counter-Piracy in the Arabian Sea: Challenges and Opportunities for GCC Action, Middle East Programme, Gulf Analysis Paper,Washington: Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Noer, John H., 1996. Choke Points: Maritime Economic Concerns in Southeast Asia, Alexandria: Centre for Naval Analysis. Pannikar, K.M., 1945. India and the Indian Ocean: An Essay on the Influence of Sea Power on Indian History, London: George Allen & Unwin. Roy Chaudhary, Rahul, 2000. India’s Maritime Security, New Delhi: Knowledge World. Sakhuja, Cdr. Vijay, 2001. Confidence Building from the Sea: An Indian Initiative, New Delhi: Knowledge World (A United Service Institution of India Project). Singh, K.R., 2008. Maritime Security for India: New Challenges and Responses, New Delhi: New Century. The Strait of Hormuz: Global shipping and trade implications in the event of closure, 1997. Office of Naval Intelligence, US Navy, 1997, p. 5. Upadayay, Shisir, 2011. Combating Piracy in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi: Manas Publication. Young, Adam J., 2007. Contemporary Maritime Piracy in South Asia: History, Causes and Remedies, Singapore: ISEAS (Institute of South-East Asian Studies). Basic Statistics on Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas, 2009-10, New Delhi: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India,(Economic Division). Ministry of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi: Government of India. http://commerce.nic.in/eidb/default.asp ------------------------- 27