Spark Plug: Chabahar Port Pact- A ReviewDEVENDRA VISHWAKARMA
In continuation with our ‘Spark Plug’ series, today we are presenting an article on “Chabahar Port Pact”. Must read this article to know about the India’s involvement in Chabahar Port.
This article will help in your preparation for descriptive test for upcoming exams like NABARD Grade A & B Officer Exam, SBI PO 2016 , & UIIC AO 2016 Exam.
Chabahar Port Pact- A Review
Chabahar port is located in Southeastern Iran in the Gulf of Oman. It is the only Iranian Port which has direct access to Ocean. It is a strategically located port because it provides direct access to the Indian Ocean, enabling bypassing of Strait of Hormuz, a traditional choke point that separates Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. Incidentally, 1/5th of oil consumed worldwide currently passes through the Strait of Hormuz.
India’s Involvement in Chabahar Port since 1990’s and Why it took so long?
Relation between Indian and Iran took off in 1990’s, when both countries came together to support the Northern alliance in Afghanistan against Taliban. Iran is one of the largest suppliers of Oil to India, despite International pressures the countries maintain friendly relationship.
Chabahar Port was initially developed by India in 1990’s. India access trade to Afghanistan and it was reluctant by Pakistan Government as the land-route is through Pakistan. They allow Afghanistan to trade through Pakistan or the oil or material to be traded in India, but reluctant for India to trade in Afghanistan by land route..
During the government of ex- premier Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he announced to build a part at Chabahar giving India access to Afghanistan and Central Asia. However, the project was not developed at that time, due to sanctions applied on Iran by western countries.
The relation between Afghanistan and India is strong and friendly since 1980’s but in 1990’s it get short-widened due to Afghan Civil War and involvement of Taliban with Afghanistan. Once, Afghan Foreign Ministry quoted India as a “brother country” and the relationship between the two as one which “no enemy can hamper”. India support Afghanishtan in many sectors like petrochemicals, technological, cultural and railway sectors.
Importance of Chabahar Port-
The Importance of Chabahar for India grew when China started developing the Gwadar Port in Pakistan which is 70 km from Chabahar Port.
No other international port has seen
the level of involvement for Chabahar as India.
Gwadar is the outlet to Indian Ocean from the proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) termed as a “game changer” in the region by both the Chinese and the Pakistanis. Gwadar provides tremendous advantage to China, not only in its pursuit of encircling India, but also in the domination of Indian Ocean an unchallenged domain of India so far.
Another major factor that affected India’s outreach to Afghanistan and oil and mineral rich Central Asian Republic (CAR) is the reluctance of Pakistan to allow access to these landlocked regions through its territory and it was the only over- land access available.
It hampered Indian economy interests, and also its security concern because lack of direct access to the terror-ridden nations in the region. Due to this, Pakistan was successful in sheltering the terrorist leaders and they attacked South east asian countries like India.
On 16th January 2016, the sanctions were lifted, opening an opportunity for India to make progress again and to develop the Chabahar Port. Our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Iran in March 2016 and had meeting with Iran Superior Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani and Afghanistan Prime Minister Ashraf Ghani.
“The Chabahar agreement will expand trade, attract investment, build infrastructure and create jobs for our youth…It is a place to realize the importance of curbing radicalism, removing the shadows of terror and spreading the sweetness of familiarity between our people,” the India’s PM said.