Pakistan sees no threat from Iran’s Chabahar port

Published: May 29, 2016
Chabahar port. PHOTO: AFP

Chabahar port. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Commerce seems to be least bothered by the trilateral agreement signed recently by Iran, Afghanistan and India for developing the Chabahar port, believing it can never be a competitor of Gwadar port since it is not a deep-sea port.

Senior ministry officer Rubina Akhter, who is the Additional Secretary of Trade Diplomacy, while talking to The Express Tribune said there was much hype about the move by Iran, Afghanistan and India, which inked an agreement to develop the Chabahar port, but it was not a threat to Pakistan.

Pakistan welcome to join Chabahar deal: Iran

The three countries signed the deal after the landmark China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was launched by Pakistan and China under which Gwadar deep-sea port would be developed for opening an easy access to the regional markets.

“There is no need to worry as Chabahar is not a recent development and the three countries have been working on it for a long time,” Akhter said, adding it was not an unexpected move in the region.

She said there was no match between the Chabahar and Gwadar ports as both had much contrast and could never become competitors.

She explained that besides not being a deep-sea port, the distance from Chabahar to potential markets is also much longer than Gwadar, which is another minus point of the Iranian port.

She mentioned that the Iranian president during his recent visit to Pakistan also clarified that they were developing the Chabahar port and it was not a competitor of any other port in the region.

The other day Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost also dispelled the impression that Chabahar was a move against any other country.

He stated that each port in the region was of equal significance and benefit to the area and through cooperation they could be mutual partners and not competitors.

Iran offers Pakistan to join Chabahar port deal

He stated the Chabahar deal was “not restricted to these three nations” and even Pakistan and China were welcome to be part of it.

The Ministry of Commerce and Iranian authorities are also working to sign a free trade agreement and in this regard an initial text is being prepared to share with Tehran.

The step has been taken after the lifting of sanctions by the international community following a successful deal on the Iranian nuclear programme.

Akhter said the trade diplomacy with Iran was moving in the right direction. There were a number of events on the cards in both the countries focused on promoting bilateral trade, which had halted due to the sanctions.

The commerce ministry will lead a delegation to Iran in July or the first week of August to discuss trade-related issues and a proposal to hold a single-country exhibition of Pakistani goods in Iran.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Prada
    May 29, 2016 - 9:55AM

    There you go. Problem solved!!
    Now to see who gets the project up and running.Recommend

  • Last Man Alive
    May 29, 2016 - 10:47AM

    Iran and india jointly supporting terrorism in Pakistan the proof of which

    was stark bare when RAW officer got nabbed in Pakistan however

    as per Pakistani traditions we will keep calling our sworn

    enemies as our swoon friends. Recommend

  • Procrastinator
    May 29, 2016 - 11:10AM

    He stated the Chabahar deal was “not restricted to these three nations” and even Pakistan and China were welcome to be part of it.

    Are you kidding me?? Let’s leave the Gawadar project and become a part of Chabahar deal as it is in the ‘best interest’ of our politicians! Recommend

  • raw is war
    May 29, 2016 - 11:40AM

    Pakistan sees no threat from Iran’s Chabahar port

    Then why is everybody shivering in their boots.Recommend

  • Sad but True
    May 29, 2016 - 1:33PM

    @Last Man Alive:
    What is the status of the RAW agent?Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 29, 2016 - 1:53PM

    @raw is war
    Correct. The only country shivering in the boots is India. Pakistan is not sending it’s terrorists to India. On the other hand, it seems Iran has not forgotten what India did to them a few years ago by leaving them in isolation and siding with the west (and Israel).
    Pakistan zindabad.Recommend

  • BigFact
    May 29, 2016 - 3:02PM

    Well said brother. India cannot put its eggs in Iran’s basket. Especially with it wants to be friends with Trump who wants sanctions back onto Iran yesterday and also with Israel. Recent allegation by US against Iran (of harboring terrorists) tells a lot. Chabahar is doomed before it can see the light of day. So we really don’t care anyway. But thanks to brother Iran for the offer anyway. Recommend

  • Harish
    May 29, 2016 - 3:21PM

    Iran is mocking Pakistan by inviting it to be part of the project, a country sustains on begging!Recommend

  • Priti
    May 29, 2016 - 3:48PM

    @Pakistani: did u forget hafeez and ajmal Kasab?
    Or that u always sided with Saudi Arabia and america and not with iran with latest being abandoning IPI gas pipelines?Recommend

  • May 29, 2016 - 5:22PM

    Gawadar will be king of the region. Chabahar can only have fishing boats. Recommend

  • Whatacountry
    May 29, 2016 - 5:36PM

    An unnecessary statement by a misguided ministry who has no business to issue such nonsense.Recommend

  • Mahakaalchakra
    May 29, 2016 - 7:00PM

    Simply because unlike Gwader, occupied on 50 year lease by PLAN China, Chabahar would be a commercial port for India as a gateway to land route connecting Central Asia, Europe and Afghanistan bypassing Terrorist inflicted Afghanistan and Pakistan. Besides, Pakistan does not have money for Gwadwr so how can it join Chabahar. Recommend

  • someone
    May 29, 2016 - 7:05PM

    Is that why there is one article about Chabahar every day in Pakistani news papers and Pakistani talk show anchors talking rabidly about Chabahar and its consequencs on Pakistan? Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 29, 2016 - 7:05PM

    You want to go into history? You remember the names Surjeet and Sarbajeet I’m sure. Poor Sikhs whose leaders now openly regret how the Indian govt used them like tissue paper and then abandoned them.
    And please read history of Iran Pakistan. Despite all Indian efforts to create rift, we prospered through RCD. The recent gas pipeline failed only due to India’s fear and animosity towards Pakistan. Now Iran even wants it’s billions back from India and wishes brotherhood with Pakistan. Simple. Recommend

  • sk
    May 29, 2016 - 7:20PM

    Chabahar port is an alternative route for Indian trade with Afghanistan, Central Asia, Russia & Europe. It reduces Pakistan’s bargaining power with US, India as well as Afghanistan and India now in a position to compete Chinese trade more effectively. The said route provides alternative to US army in Afghanistan. The link between Gwadar & Chabahar is more advantageous to India than any other country as Indian goods could be shipped to Pakistan itself. Additionally, it gives India a strategic hidden advantage during crisis or war. Pakistan’s severe headache is its relation & dependency on RSA is becoming a hurdle in improving relation with Iran. Whereas RSA is improving its relation with India inspite of latter’s strategic tie up Iran. Is govt of Pakistan ignorant of all these ?Recommend

  • curious2
    May 29, 2016 - 8:29PM

    Chabahar is designed to remove Pakistan leverage from Afghanistan/India trade – not as a competitor to Gwadar. It’s not going to be very expensive to build and will likely be up and running in a short period of time. Further – while Pakistanis are quick to point out that Gwadar is a “deep water port” they fail to mention that Gwadar lacks sufficient power, water, storage, roads, railways, and basic essentials to attract qualified employees (housing, schools, etc) necessary for any major port. Recommend

  • hamza khan
    May 29, 2016 - 10:17PM

    gwadar will be operational by year end. chabahar may never see the light of day. hahahahaRecommend

  • hamza khan
    May 29, 2016 - 10:18PM

    @raw is war:
    hahaha…only inferiority complex indians like yourself who seem to need to comment in the section here. hahahah…chabahar will be a dud just like the rest of your country. Recommend

  • Naresh
    May 29, 2016 - 10:44PM

    At last a totally sensible Article!Recommend

  • Naresh
    May 29, 2016 - 10:49PM

    @hamza khan: gwadar will be operational by year end. chabahar may never see the light of day. hahahaha.
    Chabahar started in 1985 or thereabouts. The Harbour and Port are already Built. India is Hiring and Updating-Modernizing Three Berths for its use!Recommend

  • Sid
    May 29, 2016 - 11:32PM

    @hamza khan:
    By year end ? Want to bet on this pal ? SO much news of Chabhar in Pakistan is a proof that there is quite a chill down their spine. Recommend

  • BCCI
    May 29, 2016 - 11:51PM

    @hamza khan: Wassup with “hahaha”? :) Is it the state of affairs in your country?

    Look at 2 choices:
    1. CPEC – Right through Balochistan, riddled with terror attacks, Baloch rebels, Taliban land etc.
    2. Chabahar – Safe road all the way to Afghanistan and beyond bypassing the terror trail (CPEC)

    Now say “hahaha” again.Recommend

  • sabi
    May 29, 2016 - 11:54PM

    @raw is war:
    Nobody shivers here in Pakistan except spoilers with agenda of keeping enmity between two countries alive however, cpec has spoiled the sleeps of majority on other side of the border isn’t it? ( don’t know why).Recommend

  • XoF
    May 30, 2016 - 6:22AM

    Yes..because we dnt care nor do you gain our attention acting so disparate and insecure. If you are such a big nation dnt compete with weak ones. Recommend

  • BigFact
    May 30, 2016 - 7:39AM

    Safe route impossible for India in Afghanistan. Iran welcoming Pakistan to Chabahar. India ditched Iran very recently. India owes Iran billions. Iran or Israel- for India?
    Everyone says hahaha.
    (ET kindly post).Recommend

  • May 30, 2016 - 8:30AM

    Please don’t be fight here iran and pakistan relation is very gud china pakistan and iran is very gud friends so dont afraid allah blessed to all muslim.Recommend

  • sk
    May 30, 2016 - 8:54AM

    @ XoF
    India is not at all competing with Pakistan. India is interested in increasing its trade with Central Asia, Afghanistan, Russia & Europe with cheaper means of transportation. Its Pakistan (in support of China!) is creating hurdles with preconditions for trade. for. e.g. trade with Afghanistan via Pakistan, gas pipeline from Iran via Afghanistan- Pakistan to India, MFN status to India, etc. (India has already extended MFN status to Pakistan). Hence, Chabahar carry significance & strategic port for India & Afghanistan alongwith Iran and Pakistan has to lose heavily on transit fee. Additionally, Chinese would face heavy competition from India which is already highlighted by their sugar industry. Moreover, now India is in a position to bypass Pakistan in case of TAPI project too. Briefly, Pakistan’s nuisance value is zeroed with this arrangement. However, India still would like to include Pakistan at mutually agreed terms & conditions to increase trade & trust between the two as it is very much in the inetrest of both the countries in the long run.Recommend

  • Javad
    Jun 2, 2016 - 10:07AM

    @Last Man Alive: When Mr. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq allowed Saudis to open Madrasas in Pakistan, that was beginning of terrorism in Pakistan. As long as Pakistanis like you blame other countries suicidal bombing will continues. Salafi movement is roots of all terrorism in Muslim countries.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Sep 15, 2016 - 4:06PM

    @raw is war: buhahhaha, its clear who is shivering…listen to ur PM, the day we have announced CPEC, No indian could sleep well. telling us that it is of no importance for Pkaistan and its China who will benefit, but when asked being an enemy of Pakistan why r Indians so concerned, they left the discussion…hahaha, and i am lovin it..Muah.Recommend

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