Friday, 20 May 2016

After years of negotiations Chabahar seaport is a done deal - a great deal for Afghanistan

Afghanistan is hopeful that Chabahar seaport would soon become a done deal after finalizing last issues with India and Iran by the next few weeks.
"After years of negotiations, we can definitely say it’s a done deal. This is a project not just for the development and prosperity of Afghanistan, but the whole region,”  said the Afghan Ambassador to India. Last month in New Delhi, representatives of India, Afghanistan and Iran finalized the text of the agreement to set up a transit-transport corridor with Chabahar seaport and also agreed to set up a sub-committee to frame transit, port, customs and consular protocols within six month. The Afghan government authorities highlighted that lifting of sanctions against Iran has enabled more companies to invest in Chabahar seaport development without a fear of being blacklisted again. There still are concerns over the security of the Zaranj-Delaram highway, a crucial road built with Indian assistance to serve as a link to Chabahar seaport. Some sources claim that criminal organizations (such lke the Taliban and Daesh) backed by Pakistani Intelligence agency ISI, which is standing against Indian presence in Afghanistan, could carry out criminal attacks on the highway. Meanwhile, Afghan Officials assured that Afghan security forces are prepared to secure the 220 km highway that runs from Delaram in Farah province of Afghanistan to Zaranj in Nimruz province at the border with Iran. Situated in southeastern Iran, Chabahar port is about 1000 km closer to Afghanistan than Karachi seaport, through which most of Afghanistan’s exports and imports take place. Chabahar seaport serves as the best alternative to the Pakistan’s Karachi seaport, where export activities are constantly disturbed by political restrictions, high storage costs and threats by various racket organizations supported by Pakistani intelligence. Chabahar seaport would help Afghanistan to come back to its role as the regional hub connecting South Asia and the Central Asia.