Iran offers Pakistan to join Chabahar port deal

No rivalry between Chabahar and Gwadar port, says Iranian envoy


Kamran Yousaf May 27, 2016
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif shakes hands with Iranian President Hasan Rowhani. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: A day after Pakistan said it was considering linking Gwadar with Chabahar harbour, Iran said the former could join the agreement.

On Monday, India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a three-way transit accord as New Delhi and Tehran inked an agreement worth $500 million to develop the Chabahar port.

“[The] Chabahar agreement is not limited to three countries. Doors are always open for Pakistan and other regional nations to join the deal,” said Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardost.

The envoy was delivering a keynote address on Pakistan-Iran relations at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).

Iranian ambassador Mehdi Honardoost addressing a seminar on “Pakistan-Iran relations” at Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Friday. PHOTO: APP

Gwadar, Chabahar to be made ‘sister port cities’

The envoy said there was no rivalry between Chahbahar port of Iran and Gwadar port of Pakistan. “In fact, both these ports complement each other,” he insisted.

Honardost went on to say that Pakistan and China were offered to join the Chahbahar port development deal before India. However, both Pakistan and China did not show any interest, he added.

Regional cooperation, he said, was the only solution to solve the problems and remove impediments among the neighbours.

On Thursday, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan was considering to link the two ports and added that Pakistan was also constructing a road to Chabahar.

Once completed, the port will provide India access to Afghanistan and Central Asia bypassing Pakistan.

Iranian president calls for 'sanction-free' ties with Pakistan

India is believed to be increasingly upset over the development of Gwadar port by China under CPEC with independent observers suggesting Chabahar could come out as a rival in future.

Afghan Taliban

Meanwhile, reiterating the country’s stance on Afghan chief Mullah Mansour’s death, the ambassador said Iran considered Taliban as its enemy and could not allow them to visit the country.

The US media had reported American intelligence agencies tracked down Mullah Mansour when he was visiting Iran to meet his family.

Iran, Afghanistan, India sign three-way transit accord

The Iranian envoy also said his country would not allow its soil to be used against Pakistan in any way.

Honardoost stressed terrorism was an international phenomenon and both Iran and Pakistan were victims of terror and drug trafficking.

COMMENTS (36)

Paul | 5 years ago | Reply I'm no economist or logistics expert, but doing the plain maths: Route A: Amritsar to Kabul, via Lahore : 843km Route B: Amritsar to Kabul, via Chabahar: 5,044km Amritsar to Bombay : 1,734km Bombay to Chabahar: 1,453km Chabahar to Kabul: 1,862km Hmmm, almost 6 times more and no matter what the Indians say, the Afghans are going to get a more expensive chapatti from India, than Pakistan. Ultimately, it'll be the business men in Afghanistan who will decide where to source their goods from, not their [invisible] government. BTW this doesn't include insecurities along the suggested Indian route, courtesy Taliban and rouge warlords so it's more of a "we can't let Pakistan build a [successful] port" syndrome.
OfCourse! | 5 years ago | Reply @wox ahmed: It's mostly Pak corrupt system & extremist agenda to blame before anything else. What do you think they decided on after seeing a murderer of Gov't official was celebrated by country's lawyers and religious parties. All those people should not be given passport or visa to Anywhere, don't you think?
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