New Delhi, 24th May 2016
By signing to develop Chabahar Port project in Iran, India has given a strong blow to China and Pakistan, claims international media. Saying that, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Iran visit has been phenomenally successful, the media noted, that through the development of the Chabahar Port, India will gain a great strategic advantage. At the same time, due to the tripartite agreement between Afghanistan-Iran-India, discussions about the decline of Pakistan’s importance and its unsuccessful policy of preventing India’s trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries has begun.
It was evident that China and Pakistan were to benefit from China’s decision to develop Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, holding strategic importance for both Pakistan and China. In response to this India began efforts to develop Iran’s Chabahar Port. The development of the Chabahar Port was halted, due to the sanctions by the UN and the US over Iran’s controversial nuclear program. But lately, after these sanctions were withdrawn, India gave momentum to the Chabahar Project. India will be investing $500 million in this project. Development of Iran’s Chabahar port will also benefit Afghanistan. Chabahar will make movement of cargo between India and Afghanistan easier.
With Chabahar it will also become easier for India to conduct business with Central Asian and East European nations. India has set a priority to develop the Chabahar Port for the past one and half years. Due to this, in near times, India’s trade with Central Asian and Eastern European nations is likely to increase manifold. This will be a huge setback to Pakistan’s attempt to prevent trade between India and Afghanistan as well as India and Central Asian countries. Pakistan has accepted a role of not allowing the use of its territory for trade between India and Afghanistan. The Afghanistan President issued many warnings to Pakistan regarding this. But Pakistan chose to ignore them.
By virtue of the Chabahar Project, Iran, Afghanistan and India seem to have joined hands, pushing Pakistan aside. Experts in Pakistan believe that India has succeeded at isolating Pakistan.
The friendship developing between India and Iran, and the support it is receiving from Afghanistan are warning bells for Pakistan, claim the Pakistani diplomats. Many Pakistani scholars living in USA have expressed a similar opinion.
If Pakistan, had offered its territory to be used for India’s trade with Central Asia and Afghanistan, it would have benefitted Pakistan enormously. Even if it is valid, that the Indian economy would have benefitted much more from such trade, but India would have remained dependent on Pakistan, is what these scholars have tried to bring to the notice of the Pakistani government and Pakistani Army. And if Pakistan had made this route available to India, then India would not have decided to develop the Chabahar Post. The importance of the Gwadar Port would have increased due to this. But Pakistan decided, not to allow its land to be used for trade between India and Afghanistan, and has thus hurt its own interests, criticize these scholars.