In a massive blow to India’s geostrategic plan, its long-standing partner in West Asia Iran has invited Pakistan and China to participate in the Chabahar port. The port is being built by India to counter Pakistan’ Gwadar port and surpass Pakistan for entering central and West Asia. According to the reports the Pakistani national daily Dawn, Pakistan and China have been invited by Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif to participate in Chabahar seaport project and in the development of its link with the Gwadar Port. The newspaper also said that it is an attempt by the West Asian country to cool down the concern raised by authorities in Pakistan over the involvement of India in the development of Iranian port.
India and Iran have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and plans have committed at least $ 85 million for the development of Chabahar port. The main objective of India to build Chahbar port was to reduce the shipping costs by 50% and also shipment time from India to Central Asia. The port is being operated by joint cooperation of Aria Banader Iranian and India Ports Global Private Limited (IPGPL). According to 2015 stats, the port has annual cargo tonnage of 2.1 million tons. Zarif, who is currently on a trip to neighbouring country Pakistan, on the sidelines of an event in an educational institution in Islamabad said that ” We have offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chabahar court after we were offered to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Chabahar port has played a key role in the India-Iran relationship especially after China’s extend policy and emergence of its power. Last year, in December, officials from both the countries inaugurated first phase of Chabahar court in south-east Iran. Zarif added that the Gwadar port city in Pakistan and Chabahar transit agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan are complimentary and not competitive.