Chabahar Port not an alliance against Pakistan: FO
Pakistan has stressed that it does not regard trade between India and Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar Port as an alliance against her.
“We do not regard it as any kind of alliance against us. Our trade with Afghanistan, Iran and China continues as before,” a Foreign Office spokesperson, Mohammad Faisal was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.
The statement comes as the first shipment of Indian wheat is enroute Afghanistan via Chabahar Port in Iran. “Transport of wheat and other commodities to Afghanistan is nothing new, as Pakistan has been traditionally providing goods to Afghanistan.”
The FO spokesperson emphasised that as a landlocked country, Afghanistan had “a right of transit access through any neighbouring country according to its needs.”
Mohammad Faisal reiterated Iran’s statement saying “Chabahar and Gwadar Ports were complimentary [to each other] in nature.”
India’s first ever consignment containing wheat was shipped to Afghanistan through Iran’s Chahbahar Port on Sunday, marking the inauguration of a trade route bypassing rival Pakistan.
Sent from the western seaport of Kandla, the shipment will be taken by trucks to Afghanistan from the Iranian port, reported the Associated Press.
The new trade route follows an air freight corridor introduced between India and Afghanistan in June last year to provide greater access for Afghan goods to the Indian market.
India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a three-way transit accord worth $500 million to develop the Chabahar port along with associated roads and rail lines last year, enabling India to tap into the Iranian and Afghan markets, and land-locked Afghanistan to get an alternative to Pakistani ports.