Can Indian backed Chabahar Port in Iran and Chinese sponsored Gwadar Port in Balochistan, Pakistan be connected for boosting trade in the region? Iran says it is ready to connect Pakistan’s Gwadar port with Chabahar port to promote trade and commerce in the region.
The proposal was put forward by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who met Pakistan’s civil-military leadership in Islamabad on Friday, reported Press TV.
“I’ve come here with a proposal for the government of Pakistan for connection between Chabahar and Gwadar… We believe that Chabahar and Gwadar can complement each other,” Zarif was quoted as saying.
“We can connect Chabahar and Gwadar, and then through that connect Gwadar to our entire railroad system, from Iran to the North Corridor, through Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, and also through Azerbaijan, Russia, and through Turkey.”
Iran, India and Afghanistan signed a trilateral transit agreement in Tehran in May 2016, which allows the three countries to open new routes of connection by converting Chabahar port into a transit hub.
The port in Chabahar, only about 100 kilometres from the Pakistan border and located on the Indian Ocean, is Iran’s largest outside the Gulf. It is also the only Iranian port with exemptions from economic sanctions re-imposed by the United States in 2018.