India is seemed to claim a great achievement by forking its way and creating a smarter trade connectivity with land-locked country Afghanistan. On October 29th, 2017 India sent its first wheat shipment to Afghanistan via Chabahar Port, a seaport in Chabahar located in southeastern Iran. It is the only Iranian port which is close to Afghanistan and has a direct route to the ocean.
India’s relationship with Iran had started developing during the 1900s when Iran invited India to develop sea-route to Afghanistan for better trade relations. Later, India joined this invite and signed a trilateral alliance for expanding the trade with Afghanistan by establishing a sea-land route via Chabahar Port, Iran. This agreement permits India to trade and export goods to Afghanistan through Iran.
This trilateral agreement and development of Chabahar Port got much success in October 2017 when India sent her first out of seven wheat shipments to Afghanistan. Six more wheat consignments are expected to be sent in next coming months and get completed by the end of January 2018.
The joint video session of Indian’s External Affairs Minister ‘Sushma Swaraj’, Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister ‘Salahuddin Rabbani’ and Iranian Foreign Minister ‘Javed Zarif’ gave a green signal to the first consignment from India to Afghanistan. “Chabahar Port is a gateway to golden opportunities”, said Indian Union Minister ‘Nitin Gadkari’.
The government of India should be praised for ways finding alternatives for better trade with other countries which helps in building friendly ties and ultimately benefits its people.
Throughout this development and shipment, Pakistan seemed to suffer a jolt. It is observed that this trade is choking Pakistan, may be due to not so good relations with Afghans and Indians. Pakistan says India has played a masterstroke in the game and has executed to use Afganistan to destabilize Pakistan as it was the only wheat supplier to Afghans due to its geographical position. No doubt India wanted to supply wheat but Pak refused to provide a pathway to Afghanistan whenever asked for. This denial continued for many years. But anyhow India explored another way to expand its trade.
Also, it is known that Pakistan’s have not been in good terms with Afghanistan too in terms of trade activities as Afghan officials have been complaining to Pakistani authorities on trade restrictions.
Concluding, it is clear that this development and growing relationship is beneficial for some and obstructing for some as well. As far as the obstruction is concerned, India has never stepped on obstructing other’s trade whereas she expands her trade by broadening her ideas. She will try her best to overcome the criticism faced for chalking out a different path by giving her best efforts to this budding trade and hopefully complete its assignment by the expected delivery dates.