India’s deep interest in Chabahar Port

SINCE the Chinese friends have fast tracked work on the development of Gwadar port, which is expected to become operational by the end of this year, India has also paced up efforts to develop infrastructure in and around Iranian Chabahar port in a bid to frustrate Pakistan’s efforts to turn Gwadar into a regional hub for international trade.
In the latest development, Japan has also been reported considering partnership with India in developing the strategically located Chahbahar port project – the step being seen as beefing up India’s ambitions in Afghanistan and Central Asian States. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Iran later this month to sign a commercial contract for the Chahbahar port. This visit is being seen as a very significant as India is expected to extend $150m line of credit for the project and it is understood that all the paper work towards this end has been completed. In recent times, Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has also been quoting as saying that his country is ready to invest up to $20b in Chahbahar. With this massive investment in Chahbahar on the part of India as well as making Japan party in it, the contours of international game for the region have started to become more apparent and visible. Pakistan rightly sees Indian funded Chahbahar and its presence there as a security threat. Recent arrest of its state sponsored terrorist Kulbushan Yadav from Balochistan who was actually posted at Chahbahar clearly unmask the Indian designs which only wants to fan chaos and anarchy in Pakistan through subversive activities. Whilst Pakistan has no issue with the full development of Chahbahar by Iran as it has already declared Gwadar-Chahbahar as sister ports, but it has legitimate concerns over increasing Indian interest in the port development. This region has already faced a lot of bloodshed due to conflict in Afghanistan, the war on terror and orchestrating further cloak-and-dagger activities would amount to pushing the region, world deep into turmoil and insecurity.

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