Afghanistan all set to get connected to India via Chabahar from Sunday

Chabahar Port Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 23, 2019, 08.47 PM (IST) Siddhant Sibal

In a big boost to regional connectivity, Afghanistan will formally start sending its goods to India from the Chabahar port in Iran from Sunday. 

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani along with Indian ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar will be present at the event that will take place in the western Afghan city of Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province bordering Iran. 

"The first trade convoy will involve 23 trucks carrying 570 tonnes of goods. The convoy will leave for India from the border city of Zaranj in a ceremony which will be attended by President Ashraf Ghani," Afghanistan president's spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri told WION in an exclusive conversation. 

Highlighting the importance of the port he said from Kabul ''Chabahar Port is the result of healthy cooperation between India, Iran and Afghanistan. This will ensure enhanced connectivity and economic growth for the countries."

Without naming any country in the region he suggested, "Other countries in the region should utilise the economic potentials of regional projects and enhance state-to-state cooperation instead of having illegal relations with non-state actors."

on 27 January, India formally established shipping lanes with the port by sending ships. It has already been decided that every two weeks Indian ships will go from three Indian ports--Mumbai, Kandla and Mundra.

Commercial operations at the port began on December 30, 2018 with the arrival of MV Macheras, a Cyprus registered bulk carrier with 72458 MT of corn cargo.

India took over the operations of a part of Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar in Iran during the Chabahar Trilateral Agreement meeting that was held in December 2018. In 2017, India sent 1.1 million tonnes of Wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port.

India has been focusing on connecting itself with Afghanistan which is a landlocked country. Other than Chabahar, India already has India Afghan air corridor with Afghanistan that was launched in 2017. 

Pakistan has not been keen to allow an overland route for India Afghan trade, that makes Chabahar's emergence as a game changer.

On 26 February Iran will celebrate "Chabahar day" in the city of Chabahar itself during which a number of conferences will take place to attract investors.

Story highlights

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani along with Indian ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar will be present at the event that will take place in the western Afghan city of Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province bordering Iran