Marking a milestone in the development of an alternate trade route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan, the time-tested friend of Afghans, India sent its first consignment of wheat through the Chabahar port in Iran. The 1st shipment via Chabahar bypassing Pakistan flagged off from India for Afghanistan is a big step forward for regional connectivity, and indeed it is a big achievement.
Certainly, it is a landmark moment for Afghanistan-India-Iran, and a significant step forward to robust connectivity in the region. This is truly great news. Thank you India, Iran and of course the leaders of the National Unity Government for making this happened. This is really mean a lot. The shipment, an Indian gift for Afghanistan, was sent on Sunday from western seaport of Kandla.
It will be taken by trucks to Afghanistan from the Iranian port. Moreover, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in his twitter account congratulated Afghanistan and Iran on wheat shipment. The new trade route follows an air freight corridor introduced between Kabul and New Delhi in June last year. The core aim is to provide greater access for Afghan goods to the Indian market.
The shipment will pave the way for operationalization of the Chabahar port as an alternate, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan. Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj said that it was an important step in realizing the shared aspiration to carve out new routes of peace and prosperity. After Pakistan—the hostile neighbor, refused land transit access through it is territory, Kabul and New Delhi launched an air freight corridor, but thanks to the Iranian government for facilitating Afghanistan via strategy Chabahar port.
Now we have seaport connecting with India. Air corridor and seaport will solve all sorts of our transit problems. Iranian government really helped Afghanistan in providing required assistance in facilitating the movement of wheat shipment through Chabahar seaport on its soil. Nothing is impossible when there is regional consensus. Our friend—New Delhi, and the neighbor—Tehran helped us in easing transit tensions, and surely they can help us a lot in bringing peace as well.
If all the regional countries follow the same suit, there would be no problem in the region. There would be peace and security everywhere. Regional connectivity needs regional consensus, to gain that we need to resolve all dilemmas through dialogues. Why Pakistan refused Afghanistan to have land access with India. And why Iran provided sea access. Tehran singled to play its positive role in helping its neighbor. But Pakistan once again showed constantans to its hostility. Nevertheless, by using Chabahar, which is located less than 80km from Gwadar, India can also make trade inroads into the Central Asian republics, and Afghanistan would take huge advantages of it.
Afghanistan Times, October 31, 2017