Delhi To Connect With Afghanistan & Central Asia Through Chabahar Port, Says Indian PM

Monday, 05/20/2024

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that Delhi will strive to connect with Afghanistan and Central Asia through the Chabahar port and expand trade.

Recently, India and Iran signed a 10-year agreement for the operation of the Chabahar port.

In an interview with an Indian media outlet, Modi considered the signing of the 10-year agreement with Iran for the operation of the Chabahar port as an important milestone and stated that Delhi would make efforts to connect with Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.

The Hindustan Times reported on Monday, citing Modi, "India will work to promote regional connectivity, trade and commerce through not just the Chabahar port, but also through the International North-South Transport Corridor as also the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor."

Last Monday, Delhi and Tehran signed a bilateral 10-year agreement, through which India can export its commercial goods to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.

India will be connected via this route to the North-South international transportation corridor and railway line.

The expansion of the Chabahar port is one of the trilateral projects between Iran, India, and Afghanistan, signed in 2016 in Tehran by Modi, Hassan Rouhani, former Iranian president and Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, former Afghan president.

One of the main objectives of this agreement was to connect Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries to international waters, especially India, through Iran.

Following the agreement, an Indian company took over the operational responsibilities of this port. During this period, a significant portion of India's humanitarian aid to Afghanistan has been delivered through the route.

In recent years, as trade and transit relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been unstable, the Chabahar port has become one of the preferred options for Afghanistan and India to bypass Pakistan. In response to Pakistan's strictness on Afghan traders, some merchants prioritise Chabahar port over Karachi port.

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