As the first shipment from India – that of wheat – reached Afghanistan via Iran’s Chabahar Port on Saturday, Afghan officials said their country was no longer dependent on Pakistan’s Karachi port.
The shipment arrived in Nimroz province in Afghanistan’s west, Tolo News reported.
Senior Afghan officials and the Indian ambassador to Kabul, Manpreet Vohra, attended a ceremony to inaugurate the new trade route – which according to them will help Afghanistan overcome its dependence on other trade routes, including Pakistan.
“With the opening of Chabahar Port, Afghanistan will no longer be dependent on Karachi Port,” Nimroz governor Mohammad Samiullah said.
“This port will create thousands of jobs and bring billions of dollars in revenue to Afghanistan, Iran and India,” he added.
He said the residents of Nimroz were determined to ensure the Nimroz-Delaram roads was secure. This route leads directly to Chabahar Port in Iran.
At the same event, Nasir Ahmad Durani, the acting minister of agriculture, said the cooperation between Afghanistan, India and Iran in the Chabahar region was a great opportunity to boost trade ties between the three countries.
Indian Ambassador Manpreet Vohra said Chabahar Port provided easy and short connectivity between countries in the region.
He added the shipment was part of the 1.1 million wheat pledged by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Afghanistan during his visit to Kabul.
He further said 700,000 tonnes of wheat had arrived in Afghanistan so far.
The Indian envoy said the reason for cooperation between India and Iran to help Afghanistan was to find an alternate route for trade between the three countries.