Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Chabahar: The port of Good Hope for Afghanistan, Iran & India


Over the last decade, the foreign policy of India is to establish financial relations in regional and international boundaries. Knowing the fact that there is no possibility of getting any assistance from Pakistan, India was looking for other alternatives to increase trade with Europe, Russia, Africa and Central Asia. In this efforts, India's intention was not just to strengthen its political-economic interests with Afghanistan, but also to suppress Pakistan-China friendship and their domination. Chabahar in Iran was a useful port in that aspect. One trait of this port is that the port is near Pakistan's Gwadar port & from the port, it is possible to trade with Afghanistan and further till Europe-Central Asia.


 A few years ago, India was pondering on doing trade with Central Asia and Europe through Gwadar Port & such wish was expressed to Pakistan; But Pakistan did not allow the permission to use this port. India took the rejection from Pakistan as an opportunity to start the discussions with Iran to develop their Chabahar port. Iran, on the other hand, was looking for an opportunity to disrupt the US-China-Pakistan dominance. They were ready to develop their own port with the help of India and now it is being developed. On Sunday, India exported nearly one million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan from Chabahar port. This is a very important step from India in helping Afghanistan's reconstruction program. With this assistance, the question of hunger among millions of Afghan nationals will be removed. Thus, this port has allowed India to trade with Afghanistan excluding Pakistan. Since this port is in Iran, India's efforts to establish friendly relations with this powerful country in Central Asia also succeeded. Moreover, this new aspect of Afghanistan-Iran-India friendship will be a  headache for China and Pakistan, that's a different advantage.


The trade that started in the Chabahar port should be considered as a milestone in the foreign policy of India. This is because Pakistan and China are trying their best to prevent India from participating in Afghanistan's rebuilding program. One part of it is that Pakistan has provided a big financial support to terrorist groups in Kashmir & Afghanistan. But three years ago, Obama began to call for withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan and it caused a political instability in Afghanistan but India started participating in Afghanistan's rebuilding program. As a result, strategy of China & Pakistan of keeping Afghanistan turbulent and unsteady in order to control various terrorist groups and governments failed. 


With the development of Chabahar port, India and Iran have decided to make full use of these port. The road from Chabahar to Zahedan in Iran and road from Zaranj to Delaram in Afghanistan has been developed. Due to this pathway, most of India's business will not be from the Indian Ocean but it will be channeled through Afghanistan to Central Asia and Europe. Japan has also shown interest in developing Chabahar port because it has given them an opportunity to enter into a technology and investment agreement with India. On the other hand, India has also signed an agreement with Iran Railways to start a railway project from Chabahar to Zahedan. 


If the foreign policy is firmly asserted, the market becomes stronger and the country also establishes new allies. As a result of Chabahar port development, India has formed new allies.

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