Reinvigorating the Chabahar port

Reinvigorating the Chabahar port

Reinvigorating the Chabahar port

For Prelim

About Chabahar Port

  • The port of Chabahar is located in south-eastern Iran in the Gulf of Oman.
  • For more details about India- Iran relations click here

For Mains

The Chabahar plan had three main objectives

  1. a)to build India’s first offshore port;
  2. b)to circumvent trade through Pakistan; and
  3. c)to find an alternative land route to Afghanistan.
  • A fourth strategy has also emerged wherein the government hopes to provide Central Asia with an alternate route to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

India’s strategic vision for Chabahar:

In the initial days of the project, it had a three-fold objective:

  1. a)to build India’s first offshore port and to project Indian infrastructure prowess in the Gulf;
  2. b)to circumvent trade through Pakistan, given the tense ties with India’s neighbour and
  3. c)build a long term, sustainable sea trade route; and to find an alternative land route to Afghanistan
  • In 2016 India signed the agreement to develop Chabahar port, as well as the trilateral agreement for trade through Chabahar.
  • The government hopes to provide Central Asia with an alternate route to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Iran for future trade.

The reason for slow development of Chabahar Port:

  • The biggest issue has been over Iran’s relationship with western countries, especially the United States.
  • Despite the fact that the U.S. made a special concession on sanctions for Chabahar, on the ground, it has been difficult to source equipment for the port construction from infrastructure companies that continue to fear secondary sanctions, as well as to engage shipping and insurance companies for trade through Chabahar.
  • India has also snapped ties with Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in August 2021, which put an end to the humanitarian aid of wheat and pulses that was being sent to Kabul via Chabahar.

 

SOURCE: THE HINDU

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