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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Why is Chabahar Port a game changer?

All eyes during Prime Minister's Iran visit were on the Chabahar Port agreement. India and Iran signed a bilateral agreement for development of the Chabahar Port. 
Added to this, another historic agreement was signed between India, Iran and Afghanistan which would create a hassle-free transit and transport corridor of goods between India and Afghanistan via the Chabahar port that is strategically located in the South East of Iran. 

Following the meeting between PM Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, India and Iran signed 12 agreements. But the most important one has been the development of Chabahar Port and related infrastructure. From an economic as well as strategic point of view, Chabahar Port development is important. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed Chabahar Port development as a key milestone and committed 500 million dollars, Iranian President Rouhani called it a very big symbol of cooperation between the two nations. 

India, Iran and Afghanistan signed an agreement for a trilateral transport and transit corridor. PM said that this agreement would spur unhindered flow of commerce throughout the region and alter the course of history of the region. The PM said that the Pact will strengthen our ability to stand in mutual support against those whose only motto is to maim and kill the innocents. 

Chabahar port, located in the Sistan-Balochistan Province on the energy-rich Iran's southern coast is beneficial for India from a strategic point of view as well. This is outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India's western coast, bypassing Pakistan. 

This agreement would help in ushering in a new phase of development. Indian goods can now go straight to Afghanistan and move ahead to Russia and Europe without touching Pakistan. The transit agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan would help in linking Chabahar with Central Asia. 

Chabahar port project in Iran will be a game changer in developing trade relations between India, Iran and Afghanistan. It is also a counter to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The port would not only have a spiraling impact on regional trade and commerce but would also create tremendous employment opportunities and strengthen people-to-people connectivity in the region. 

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