Chabahar Port, the Jewel of India – Iran friendship
June 5, 2015
“You know your testimony is strong when your roots are so deep that other people’s storms will never knock you over”….. Shanon Aldor
Chabahar port is the testimony of centuries long bonding between ancient civilizations of India and Iran. Shri Modi Ji’s fidelity to construct the Harbour at a strategic location in Gulf of Oman has established India as a pivot between South Asia and Middle East.
The Union Minister of Surface Transport and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari Ji signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iran for developing the port of Chabahar in Iran recently. The agreement is being considered as a master stroke by the Strategic and Defence analysts world over as it will be India’s counter move to China who is constructing the port of Gwadar in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.
Shri Nitin Gadkari Ji has said that he had “a very fruitful discussion” on bilateral relation with President of Iran Mohsen Rouhani and he also handed over the message of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji to Rouhani.
India wanted to build the port as it would cut transport costs and freight time to Central Asia and the Gulf by about a third. The port is also a key to India’s efforts to circumvent Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests.
A counter to Chinese corridor in Pakistan
The deal is a checkmate to China’s wily strategy to gain footprint in Pakistan by constructing Seaport of Gwadar in Pakistan merely 72 kilometres east of Chabahar. India, Iran and Afghanistan have also signed an agreement to give Indian goods, preferential treatment and tariff reductions at Chabahar. Russia has also expressed eagerness to ally with the emerging power block for establishing a multimodal transport link connecting Mumbai with St. Petersburg. India and Iran are also discussing building a gas pipeline between the two countries along the bed of the Arabian Sea to bypass Pakistan, using the Chabahar port. Both countries are pondering the delivery of natural gas produced in Turkmenistan with Indian assistance to north Iran while the Islamic Republic will send natural gas from its southern deposits to Indian consumers. India has also finalised a plan to build a 900 km-long railway line from the Bamiyan province of Afghanistan to the Chabahar port. New Delhi has already spent 637 Crore rupees on building a 220-km road in Nimroz province of Afghanistan.
“The one excellent thing that can be learned from a lion is that whatever a man intends doing should be done by him with a whole-hearted and strenuous effort”…. Chanakya