Bypassing Pakistan, India formally takes over Chhabar port of Iran

In a big boost to country’s diplomatic influence over South and Central Asia, India on Monday formally took over the operations at Chhabar port in Iran. The port was formally handed over to India after an hours long trilateral meeting between the representative of India, Iran and Afghanistan.

The port will serve as one of the regional hubs in the transit and transport corridor between the three countries. The routes for the trade and transit corridor were also review in the trilateral meeting. Officials also agreed to finalise a protocol to harmonise transit, roads, customs, and consular matter, according to the ministry of external affairs. India has also pledged financing a rail and road network to ship goods to landlocked Afghanistan.

During the meeting, it was agreed to allow cargo movement at Chabahar using Transports Internationaux Routiers Convention provisions, the MEA said.

It was decided to hold an event to promote and popularise the potential of Chabahar on 26 February 2019.

The Chhabar port is being perceived as India’s counter to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port which is being developed with Chinese investment. The Chhabar port is easily accessible from India’s western coast. It is situated in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province and is around 80 km away from Gwadar Port.

(With inputs from agencies)