Iran's strategic port offer to help India bypass Pakistan

Published: July 18, 2015
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani leaves after delivering a speech at plenary session during the Asian African Conference in Jakarta April 22, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani leaves after delivering a speech at plenary session during the Asian African Conference in Jakarta April 22, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has asked India to invest in infrastructure projects worth $8 billion, including an expanded role in developing a strategic port that will open up access to Central Asia, Iran’s envoy to New Delhi said on Friday.

The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is central to India’s efforts to circumvent arch-rival Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests.

Rouhani suggested the larger role for India during a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a summit in Russia days before the historic nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Iran’s ambassador to India told Reuters.

Read: Former Saudi spy chief says Iran nuclear deal will ‘wreak havoc’

“The potential between Iran and India is great but we were just facing such a wall of sanctions, wall of American pressure,” ambassador Gholamreza Ansari said.

Ansari said that with sanctions likely to be lifted soon, it was a “golden time” for India to seize investment opportunities because of the two countries’ close trade ties and shared interest in improving Central Asian transport links.

“Connectivity is the main policy of Modi that coincides with Iran’s government policy,” Ansari said. “We have offered them, in connectivy, $8 billion of projects.”

Modi’s meeting with Rouhani was part of a tour of Central Asia focused on increasing India’s role in the region.

It was not immediately clear how Modi responded to Rouhani’s offer.

India’s foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Iran and six world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, clearing the way for an easing of sanctions on Tehran.

Read:Iran deal will not erase ‘profound differences’: Obama

India and Iran agreed in 2003 to develop Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran’s border with Pakistan, but the venture has moved slowly because of the sanctions over Iran’s atomic programme.

The two countries maintained a close relationship despite the US-led trade restrictions that halved their oil trade to 220,000 barrels per day last year.

In May, India’s Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and his Iranian counterpart, Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi, signed an $85 million deal for India to lease two existing berths at the port and use them as multi-purpose cargo terminals.

Under the new proposal India could help build second and third terminals at the port, as well as railway connections into the rest of Iran, Ansari said.

India has moved slowly on opportunities in Iran in the past, including the giant Farzad B gas field. Ansari said India was the “first priority” to develop Farzad B, but urged New Delhi to move fast: “If they drag their feet, the market will not wait.”

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Reader Comments (87)

  • Ahmed
    Jul 18, 2015 - 3:36PM

    That is an ironic offer considering there are more developed nations in the world that could do it. But just to counter the sunni Pakistan, Shia Iran has taken this step. Recommend

  • Harish
    Jul 18, 2015 - 4:00PM

    Congrats to India and Iran, its good for the economy of both the countries..and also good idea to bypass Pakistan as its highly unreliable when you consider its track record. ^_^Recommend

  • George
    Jul 18, 2015 - 4:49PM

    Great to see the Americans have finally decided that its better to engage Iran rather than punishing its people through sanctions. Definitely great news for India as well that Iran still remembers us even though we were forced to act against Iran’s interest during the recent past. India would be more than happy to invest in Iran and the Chabahar port as well but 8 billion dollars? Why don’t they just tell India to attack Saudi Arabia while they’re at it? Indians are fond of Iranians and we’ve all had the Iranian student in our college gang but its highly unlikely that India can afford such a tall order.Recommend

  • Singh
    Jul 18, 2015 - 4:49PM

    HeartburnRecommend

  • Fi
    Jul 18, 2015 - 5:00PM

    The game is on and swords have been drawn. To undermine China, US struck a nuclear deal with Iran, freeing Iran of sanctions so that they can go ahead with the help of India to restrict China the access to CA by developing Chabhar. Gawadar will be neutralised. The chess mat has been laid, pawns in place, strategy drawn and this region will see no peace in future for a long time. Thank you world powers for bringing chaos in the region.Recommend

  • Tepper
    Jul 18, 2015 - 5:06PM

    A lesson in international diplomacy Pakistan can learn. India today is equally good friends with Iran and Israel at the same time. India hasn’t pushed itself into regional camps or blocs. While Pakistan, with false bravado, unnecessarily, has projected Israel as its foe. Infact, Even Saudis are at good terms with the Israelis. Israel would have rather valued Pakistan as its muslim acquaintance. There was no need for Pakistan to get at bad terms with Israel. Pakistan wanted to get accepted into the muslim world and thought Israel bashing would make itself more acceptable to the ummah. Sub standard diplomacy. Recommend

  • Raza
    Jul 18, 2015 - 5:24PM

    Why are we concerned now. What about the strategic pipeline project, which Iran completed at their end and Pak did not. They came to us first. We rejected themRecommend

  • pat
    Jul 18, 2015 - 5:35PM

    Pakistan’s whole foreign policy and existence is India centric.trying to compete with India ruined Pakistan from the coreRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 18, 2015 - 6:04PM

    and a facepalm for those who thought Iran was our friend. Not that i am a friend of KSA, but KSA has helped pakistan financially more than any other country.Recommend

  • ali sindhi
    Jul 18, 2015 - 6:05PM

    that’s what i called a smart nation INDIA doing trade deals with both IRAN N ISRAEL Recommend

  • Vectra
    Jul 18, 2015 - 6:34PM

    In Gwader there is only a port with no connectivity in term of highways,rail lines,roads etc and the when the proposed 2000km long gwader-khasgar road link will complete no one knows as the project is not yet started as funds are not yet disbursed.It may take at least 20-25 yrs yrs as in such long distance roads many trees,mountains to get cut,tunnels to be build through difficult terrain and given pakistans provincial politics this may not even get complete.Whereas in Chabahar’s case India was smart to start the highways and roads projects much before that starting the port.Now the status is much of roads and highways and some rail lines projects connecting Afganistan,Iran and Chabahar along with Chabahar port is complete which has 2 berth now.This offer by by Iran and India’s agreement with Iran 2-3months back will involve to complete the rest of roads and highways and rail lines if any left as soon as possible and build new roads and highways and rail lines to connect throughout rest of Iran and build additional berth to Chabahar’s existing 2 now.So Chabahar will be active and running in hardly 5 more years with full connictivity in place but Gwader with no connectivity now will take 20-25yrs to fully functional with full connectivity in place from Gwader to Khashgar for which it was primarily built.Recommend

  • Thunder
    Jul 18, 2015 - 7:31PM

    With the nuclear deal and other potential agreements between US and Iran the importance of Pakistan may diminish gradually for the U.S. . As Iran gets closer to the U.S. Not good for Pakistan and for the Israel . Iran can be used against Arabs more effectively than Israel.Recommend

  • curious2
    Jul 18, 2015 - 7:42PM

    It’s clear that Iran doesn’t think Pakistan is ever going to resolve it’s issues with India — so they might as well take advantage of the conflict. It’s a win for India/Afghanistan/Iran.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Jul 18, 2015 - 7:59PM

    Pakistan made a very bad move by giving away Gwadar to China and allowing China to build a naval port to encircle India. This also brings China in a position to challenge US naval fleets in the region. Though the official position of India is that it is objecting CPEC only because G-B is a disputed territory, the more important reason is that Pakistan has allowed and China wants to encircle India and control the important sea routes. Here the interests of USA, Iran and India converge directly against the moves made by China and Pakistan. No one is going to allow China to come to this end. Also, India, Iran and Afghanistan have realized the damage Pakistan has caused to the region by sheltering talibans and sectarian terrorists. All these countries also realize that China’s support to Pakistan, in its own selfish interests, is a major contributing factor. In the end, it will be only Pakistan that will suffer and pay the costs for its own foolishness. China, when it feels the threat from alliance of forces of USA, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia on its other side will walk away from Pakistan. China has been using Pakistan as a cat’s paw. Few month ago in one of Pakistan’s TV channels Hamid Gul asked the anchor to give him two minutes so that he can make a point. He went on to say that China could not have progressed had it not been for Pakistan’s help. He said only because of Pakistan China was worry-free from any threat from India. He said Pakistan kept India engaged militarily for over 35 continuous years and China made all its progress in this period only because China had no worries from India. Even Pakistan’s Generals realize that China has used Pakistan but as their hatred for India is more that they allowed China to use Pakistan for its own interests. Recommend

  • kk
    Jul 18, 2015 - 8:10PM

    now lets see what my freinds say who r dying for iranian friendshipRecommend

  • bahaha
    Jul 18, 2015 - 8:14PM

    Well its going to cost more to ship that gas sonRecommend

  • Waqar
    Jul 18, 2015 - 8:19PM

    @pakistani couldn’t have said it better Recommend

  • Milind
    Jul 18, 2015 - 8:42PM

    Pakistanis will now find another reason to fret & whine, as they do with our presence in Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Imran
    Jul 18, 2015 - 9:05PM

    And they call themselves ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’Recommend

  • Pawan Kumar
    Jul 18, 2015 - 9:11PM

    @Vectra:
    Most difficult part of CPEC is lying all season roads and rail link in extremely earthquake prone GB region. project cost can increase many folds without any guarantee against natural calamities. India’s construction of J&K rail link is being build challenging all available rail engineering tech still no assurance as to how nature will affect it.Recommend

  • Pawan Kumar
    Jul 18, 2015 - 9:13PM

    Iran is true ally of US in greater ME and CA. till 1979 it was extremely pro-US. that is why it helped Pak in 1971.Recommend

  • sabi
    Jul 18, 2015 - 9:41PM

    In the wake of Gawadar becoming part of CPEC in near future its unlikely that India would pour such a huge amount on Chahbahr port when CPEC can offer India better opportunities in term of transports who knows about future.If India still goes ahead with Chahbahar I would call it a move in desperation.Is India so desperate I hope not!Recommend

  • Bilal
    Jul 18, 2015 - 10:13PM

    Its rather hilarious how some so called analysts are describing Chahabahar as a more viable option than Gawadar.For this assumption to be true,China must be nuts to invest 46 Billion dollars in Pakistan and clearly Chinese are not nuts.They know who is going to pivot this region.Honestly, a little part of me actually wants India to enter this game of investing in other countries.India grieved by the Pak China economic corridor is willing to make all sort of bad choices in its effort to mitigate the effects of Chinese investment in Pakistan.Let India enter Iran and waste the money of its tax payers just like it did in Afghnaistan.India used so much money just to antagonize the Afghans and look at the results.After all those years,in Muree it was Pakistan,China,US and Afghnaistan who are having nay say in Afghanistan’s future.Let India continue with its vile intentions and let Iran be exposed in front of simpletons.Recommend

  • BlackHat
    Jul 18, 2015 - 11:14PM

    China opened up to the world in the 1980s, traded with its adversaries and ideological rivals, putting disputes and contentious issues (even ideology) on the back burner. It benefited enormously from integrating itself into the global economy and transformed itself into world leader. China is now in a position to deal with rest of the world on its own terms. India, two solid decades behind, is catching up.

    This is a lesson that countries of the subcontinent need to learn quickly. Time is of essence. Regional integration is of utmost urgency. A well integrated subcontinent has the potential to achieve highest growth, even surpassing China. SAARC and China could be the world’s largest two economies.Recommend

  • Pmahmud
    Jul 19, 2015 - 12:24AM

    @Vectra:
    How is under sea pipeline coming along. How much India owes Iran on Oil account. If you don’t know it is $8 billion. Go for big projects now….Recommend

  • Igloo
    Jul 19, 2015 - 12:35AM

    Looks like someone finally beat Pakistanis at their own game of backstabbing,Recommend

  • Rauf
    Jul 19, 2015 - 1:15AM

    Foreign policy and diplomacy is not color blind, There is no sunni or shia in foreign policy, its always the strategic and economic interests. Pakistan has a pool of talented diplomats but were never allowed to formulate a foreign policy. Too bad but that is the truth. India has a consistent and firm foreign policy which is planned and implemented by trained diplomats, not the generals or the corrupt politicians. If Iran is inviting India for investment, it is because of reputation of India built by its diplomatic force working tirelessly around the globe. This is coupled with steady democracy, peaceful transition of government and big pool of educated and well trained work force.
    Pakistan has long way to go. Religion never played a role in diplomacy, Pakistan’s relations with China is an example. These relations are based upon strategic and economic interests not based on Shia Sunni or any other faith. Better India Pakistan relations are good for Pakistanis. I do not think that Pakistan is even a factor in Indian FP since the time of IK Gujral.Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Jul 19, 2015 - 1:45AM

    Iran is no friend of Pakistan. This seals the deal.Recommend

  • Yasir
    Jul 19, 2015 - 1:56AM

    This is bound to fail for two reasons:

    The situation in Afghanistan is uncertain. It is likely that there will be a Taliban revival in Afghanistan post US exit, especially in southern Afghanistan, taking trading of goods out of question.
    Chahbahar is a smaller port compared to Gwadar, and is in early stages of development. Chahbahar can host only 20000 tonnes of goods compared to 200,000 at Gwadar. At best it can only serve eastern provinces of Iran. With Gwadar, one can totally avoid destabilized Afghanistan, with direct access to central Asia.

    Therfore, Chahbahar ‘circumventing’ Pakistan is a pipe-dream.
    Recommend

  • Vicky
    Jul 19, 2015 - 2:05AM

    After getting freed from sanctions , now Iran will be economically, strategically more important for world then Pakistan…..
    now USA will bend more towards to Iran then Pakistan…..
    for economic purpose whole world will becoming partner of Iran…… as Iran is better than Pakistan in economic and security concerns…..Iran’s chahbahar port will cut the possible benefits of Gwadar portRecommend

  • Sam
    Jul 19, 2015 - 2:21AM

    Well economically, strategically Iran is more secure and safer country then Pakistan….
    so more countries will be interested in chahbahar port then gwadar port….this will hurt possible profit of gwadar and minimize Pakistan’s value ….
    plus Iran’s oil will also cut the profit of Saudia and other oil rich gulf countries which run oil selling businessRecommend

  • blue
    Jul 19, 2015 - 2:52AM

    @Jawad U Raham Its not about friendship, Iran is friends with Pakistan but even a blind man can see it is a very unstable country. Also Iran and India have been doing business for a long time and India does owe Iran alot of money too. Also Pakistan has very close association with Saudi Arabia. So it means practical business sense for Iran to have links with India. Recommend

  • Igloo
    Jul 19, 2015 - 3:02AM

    It sounds like someone finally beat Pakistan at it’s own game of blackmailing.Recommend

  • Union Jack
    Jul 19, 2015 - 4:24AM

    @Bilal:
    While you cook up all your conspiracy theory till eternity, the whole region including Afghanistan, India, Iran and your best friend China will march ahead in prosperity. And in next ten years when everybody in your neighborhood is doing good, you will still be waiting for when India’s “vile” intentions will fail. Keep waiting on those negative feeds and that will certainly help you prosper. We can all see how well developed nation Pakistan is today.Recommend

  • Union Jack
    Jul 19, 2015 - 4:26AM

    @sabi:
    You are entitled to stay optimistic about CPEC. Strategically it works better for India to use route through Iran.Recommend

  • Someone
    Jul 19, 2015 - 4:27AM

    Most Indian commentators miss the point. From a geostrategic point of view, Chabahar has zero relevance for India. The article has a factual error; geographically, it is not possible for India to “circumvent” Pakistan as it will still have to cross Pakistani waters to reach Iran. Activating Chabahar would be to Pakistan’s advantage in fact, as it can monitor all movements and levy tax chargesRecommend

  • Humza
    Jul 19, 2015 - 5:43AM

    @Sam: Iran is far from being removed from US sanctions which will be lifted in a stepwise fashion. Being an election year in the US , things may even change in the near future. There is a strong lobby in the US which will work against the relaxation of sanctions against Iran even though Iran has given in to all major US demands for inspection. Iran had to capitulate because US and world sanctions were destroying their economy. In the West you will hear most expatriate Iranians are predicting the downfall of the current regime there where people cannot get access to medicines and the inflation is at all time high. Iran is hardly any more secure or safer than any of its neighbors. Ask Iranians who travel there from abroad. Many believe it is on the verge of another revolution given that the young generation born after the fall of the Shah is all itching for democracy. They feel suppressed in Iran. In practical terms, Chabahar is no match for Gwader due to the limited deep water depth afforded by its location in Iran. By contrast, Gwader is a deep sea port whose capacity is unparalleled in the area. the Chinese have looked at a great number of factors before committing such a large sum to its development. I would remain convinced that they will ensure its viability after having invested so much time, effort and money into CPEC. Let’s observe how things evolve but I do not expect any route through Afghanistan to be stable.Recommend

  • Raslan
    Jul 19, 2015 - 5:50AM

    Let’s imagine this . Iran and India build this port together. Then Afghanistan and Central Asia have access to Arabian Sea . What trade can be done by Afghanistan and central Asian countries. What do they make. Afghanistan none but drugs. Central Asian countries got oil and gas only and to transport this you do not need trucks hence you don’t need roads . you can’t build rail roads easily in such terrain. Secondly to export goods from and to this port , India needs to pass through Pakistan . So it does not make A lot of sense for India economically. But on the other hand gawader port will provide China a far better route for his goods to international market . At the same time will have a naval port at a time of need. So Pakistan has a win win situation whether there is Iranian port being built or not. India would need Pakistan to get any benefit from Iranian port. Pakistan is located at such an important location in South Asia that India , Iran , China and Central Asia needs Pakistan . So all Indians and anti Pakistan stay cool . You not going any where without pakistan’s permission in this ports and routes plans. Recommend

  • Meghana
    Jul 19, 2015 - 6:26AM

    Gwadar port is only for goods that will come from Central Asia to China fo its economy. Which other country will use it? It’s specifically made for China needs. China’s economy has slowed. India has bypassed China to become fastest economy in the world. Whereas China stock market collapsed and trillions were wiped off. Now will they have enough money to pull through world projects when it’s own country in deep economic mess and uncertainty? Doubtful.
    Chabbar port is more multilateral for iran-oman-india-afgan-central asia. Gwadar would had only been significant to India had pakistan invovled it’s neighbours. Which it’s not. Pakistan always says its “strategically placed”. whats the use of being strategically placed when you can’t use it? Blocking others when it could have earned transit fees and trade in return. No economic vision. It shot its own feet by putting all eggs in same basket(China). Other countries have found cheaper routes to bypass it. Now if TAPI pipeline too is blocked by pakistan. India will move to take TII route bypassing pakistan and Afganistan as suggested by modi. Since chabbar will make TII cheaper to india. Recommend

  • vicktor d'souza
    Jul 19, 2015 - 9:00AM

    @Ahmed:
    well, let’s hope Iran in some manner or form violates the terms of this agreement so that everything is back to square one.
    Pakistan will be happy, so will Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Republicans. Strange bedfellows but real politick for you..Recommend

  • Thought
    Jul 19, 2015 - 9:00AM

    Just a question what is the benefit to India and how their Goods will shipped to Iran? through plane? China has already captured the Market, people are interested to import cheaper things from them.

    It’s in fact encouraging for us let’s compete in trade game it better than war.Recommend

  • Bahubali
    Jul 19, 2015 - 9:31AM

    @Yasir: India will use Chabahar to enter Afghanistan but Central Asia, Turkey and Russia will be accessed through North South Corridor. Afghanistan will not be required to access any other country of except Afghanistan. India will have only few slots in Chabahar and rest will be commercialy available. India will setup almunium, fertilizer and chemical industry near Chabahar. Currently India gets raw material from gulf and then produces these things in India.Setting up these industries in Iran will save lot of cost for India since these industries consume lots of energy and energy is cheap in Iran. India can send agriculture goods to Iran and while returning these ships can bring back things produced in Iran by these industries. Gwader has uncertain future due to Balooch rebel. Only few hundred Balooch rebel can damage the peace required for smooth functioning of Gwader. However, if Pakistani ‘ non state actor’ dies such thing in Chabahar then it will put Iran against Pakistan. There is also a possibility of increased presence of Iranian and India navy to safeguard its interest in Chabahar and we all know that Chinese navy is miles away compared to Indian navy and aircraft carrier.Recommend

  • observer
    Jul 19, 2015 - 9:43AM

    @Raj – USA:

    You make good posts but they are hard on the eyes. Have you ever heard of paragraphs?Recommend

  • observer
    Jul 19, 2015 - 9:48AM

    @Bilal:

    “For this assumption to be true,China must be nuts to invest 46 Billion dollars in Pakistan and clearly Chinese are not nuts”

    Well, how many cents of this $46B China has already plowed into the project? China is using Pakistan, through this mirage project, to needle India. This great $46B promise is part of that effort. Recommend

  • observer
    Jul 19, 2015 - 9:50AM

    @Yasir:

    You forget some important facts. The Indians have already laid the road system to connect Chabahar to Afghanistan. The rail system is under construction. All that is needed is expansion of the Chabahar port. Recommend

  • rk
    Jul 19, 2015 - 10:45AM

    Eid Mubarak to all South Asians.May God bless us all.Some very profound thoughts have been expressed by the readers.One particular thought is that there is no commonality of Religion between China and Pakistan ( The Citadel of Islam). I humbly request all Pakistanis to just travel from the Wagha border to Delhi ,Agra, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangluru and Madras.
    Each mile on this highway shall show you what is our heritage,our language our customs, our festivals are all common, our DNA is same.Over half a dozen ports like Gawader are being built in India.We should ask ourselves why India should go to Chahbar $. Are we ready to lose
    another generation to the alter of hate and allow China to change our DNA.Let us think and decide.Recommend

  • Sahibzada Ali Noor
    Jul 19, 2015 - 11:08AM

    What both countries (India & Iran) are failing to realise is that for this deal work out, Afghanistan has to be on board and safe. With ISIS getting stronger every day and getting it’s fangs deeper in Afghanistan, it is a far fetched dream at best and India is not going to waste US$8 billion on dreams. Hopefully, the Taliban along with the new Afghan government (who are continously having peace talks currently) can counter ISIS, but with the funds and resources of ISIS and the unfettered support from KSA, UAE and other Sunni Arab nations, things are going to get much worse in Afghanistan. And if ISIS is allowed to spread as rapidly as it is currently, it isn’t good news for any country neighbouring Afghanistan, specifically Shi’a centric Iran. Recommend

  • hellboy
    Jul 19, 2015 - 11:21AM

    @Pmahmud: Thats due to sanctions India could not pay in doller terms.That doesn’t mean India can’t pay that money.About half of the payment to be made from private sector refinaries.Recommend

  • Wiserneighbour
    Jul 19, 2015 - 11:24AM

    @Ahmed:
    India stood with Iran during their difficult times. Pakistan do not have the capacity, technology or funds to execute large projects when they themselves are depending on China for everything. Friendship is not only during good times but also during bad times. Iran is rewarding that friendship. Developed nations showed their back to Iran during sanction times.Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Jul 19, 2015 - 11:27AM

    @Ahmed:
    India stood with Iran during their difficult times. Pakistan do not have the capacity, technology or funds to execute large projects when they themselves are depending on China for everything. Friendship is expressed not only during good times but also during bad times. Iran is rewarding that friendship. Developed nations showed their back to Iran during sanction times.Recommend

  • IndianMuslim
    Jul 19, 2015 - 11:53AM

    Aap aaye tho Chabahar aayi. Inshallah, Iran and India’s partnership will be the defining one in the decades ahead. With Afghanistan in the fold too, the troika can do wonders for the region.Recommend

  • Javed
    Jul 19, 2015 - 12:17PM

    @Bilal:
    Do not count the eggs before they hatch. China has already withdrawn form coal fired plant construction amounting 14 billion which is a part of this project. Recommend

  • Javed
    Jul 19, 2015 - 12:18PM

    As a Pakistani I still feel Chahabar has upper hand since Iran has railways a must for inland good hauling.Recommend

  • Reality
    Jul 19, 2015 - 1:38PM

    Iran and India will build this project much much faster with international standards. Pakistan with its internal problems will perhaps not even finish this project. That is the real issue.Recommend

  • Sohail
    Jul 19, 2015 - 2:04PM

    Why Iran can’t be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat?Recommend

  • Haider
    Jul 19, 2015 - 2:19PM

    @Vectra
    Gawadar is a world’s largest deep sea and western route and eastern routes are in construction process….Come to Pakistan and I ll show u construction taking place…..as soon as Karachi-Lahore motorway completes the project will be 80-90 percent complete…..project will be operational within 3-4 yrs and all the projects of 46 bn are expected to complete in 7 yrdRecommend

  • Agha Zain Lehri
    Jul 19, 2015 - 2:46PM

    Common men want multilateral relationship among Asian states, but it’s far away from our imagination thus Pakistan need to do more along with China for Gawadar port development.Recommend

  • AVPMPolpot
    Jul 19, 2015 - 3:17PM

    History reveals that ….
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    when Indian Kishanganga Project commenced it finished Pakistan’s Neelum Jhelum….and the same would repeat between Chaubahar and Gwadar:).Recommend

  • MAZZ
    Jul 19, 2015 - 4:15PM

    of no use Chahbahar will be for Indians, may be of some benefit for Iranians, particularly after Gwader gets functional , likely to be much earlier then Chahbahar, . But we indians can be blind in Pakistan enmity.Recommend

  • Appan
    Jul 19, 2015 - 4:41PM

    It is great game played by the west to placate sunni wahabism and hence decided to support Shia Iran for now. Ofcourse the same Iran was responsible for the exit of zorastrians and Bahaii’s. Forget the past. look forward. Follow the policy of divide the Muslim world and rule. Will Pakistan learn anything from this turn of events?Recommend

  • Xnain
    Jul 19, 2015 - 5:01PM

    @Fi:
    Can gawadar be neutralized? I dont think so. Access to certain conuntries like Turkey might be easy from Chahbahar, but for most of the resource rich and land locked central Asia, the whole of Afghanistan has to be passed through. CPEC is much safer given the route can bypass majority of Afghanistan. Plus CPEC will cater the energy hungry giant i.e. China which is enough to keep it busy all along. From Strategic point of view. India cant bypass China and Pakistan from Chahbahar but China can bypass whole of Indian Ocean and Straight of Malaka from Gawadar. And Indian policymakers know it very well.Recommend

  • Jul 19, 2015 - 6:17PM

    @Yasir: —- Chabahar is not in the early stage of development. it is already functioning. India has been offered to construct two jetties. Roads are already in existence to connect it with major Iranian cities. It is well connected by air to Dubai Middle East ( regular flights to Dubai , muscat and ME countries ) . India is to lay rail lines for easy transportation and make its hinterland bigger. Entry to Afghanistan can be made on the eastern or northern side. Taliban holds influence on the western area of Afghanistan on the borders with Pakistan. With the right size of investment 5 years are sufficient to link it with Afghanistan but Indian investment will take its time to decide weighing the gains and the amount of investment..
    Your argument is of instability in Afghanistan due to Taliban’s presence which if not solved will destabilize Pakistan too in the long run. Recommend

  • Haider
    Jul 19, 2015 - 6:25PM

    @Vicky
    @Sam
    Firstly Chabahar is not as big as Gawadar..Gawadar is perhaps world’s largest deep sea port……It is a game changer for China as its travel of 15000 km will be reduced to 2500 km only…And the road link will be completed in 3-4 years as its in construction process..
    The only problem is security problem which has been reduced to much extent
    @Vectra
    Rail Link will take time but there are 3 road links and Karachi-Lahore Motorway in construction and expected to complete in 2 years…so in 3-4 years road process will start and China’s journey to middle east will reduce from 15000km to 2500 kmRecommend

  • Haider
    Jul 19, 2015 - 7:32PM

    @Meghana:
    Firstly Gawadar is a world’s largest deep sea port while Chabhar Port is small compared to Gawadar
    China had GDP of 9 trillion USD while It is a country who has largest foriegn reserves of 3 trillion USD ten times higher than India has….So far that economy 46bn $ is nothing plus its a neccesity of China as its distance to middle east will reduce to 2500 km which is now 15000 km…so stock exchange is irrelevant in this case..Recommend

  • Kam
    Jul 19, 2015 - 7:45PM

    Its not what it seems. Iran is an observer member of SCO which Pakistan and India joined. India is not happy with China-pakistan corridor. I see Russians who are closer to Iran behind this offer. The objective is to appease India and make it more integrated in SCO to counter west. But economic practicalities of by-passing Pakistan wont make it any viable option for India. Combination of sea and dry land route will double the cost of commodities being transported and consumers will look for alternatives.Recommend

  • Daddy
    Jul 19, 2015 - 8:07PM

    What is the problem? Iran is an independent country and can do whatever it likes. Perhaps this news is meant to inject some sinister deductions in thinking here.Recommend

  • xnain
    Jul 19, 2015 - 8:35PM

    @Raza:
    You Iranian appologist should know that gas pipeline was used as a political stunt by Asif Ali Zardari and Iranians themselves knew very well that IP pipeline wasnt possible unless Iran was under financial sanctions. Thats why they had to wieve off the penalties despite heavy heart.Recommend

  • Truth
    Jul 19, 2015 - 8:40PM

    Why does the article need to add bypassing Pakistan? India is already trading with Iran even before lifting of sanctions. And this will also help Pakistan since chabahar port is stones throw from Gwadar which Pakistan is expected to develop with China. So china importing oil from Iran will benefit from this investment.Recommend

  • Pakistani sans representation
    Jul 19, 2015 - 8:44PM

    Pakistani media is overflowing vid

    iran’s loyalists who don’t let

    anything against iran’s

    persistent enmity of

    Pakistan appear in

    mediaRecommend

  • roheen
    Jul 19, 2015 - 8:46PM

    Well since lot of folks have been taking about india having to pass Pak waters to get to Iran. A country’s territorial waters extends upto 12 miles, beyond that you have your exclusive economic zone, on which according to Law of the Sea, ships of any state have the freedom of navigation, overflight and laying of undersea cables and pipeline. i dont get it, why such big cry about it? Pakistan is not allowing India to trade with central Asia through their route, now if Iran (a sovereign state) and India (another sovereign state) decide on something which they see as economically viable , whats wrong with it? I don’t think international relationships work like a relationship between 10 year olds do. Recommend

  • Naresh
    Jul 19, 2015 - 8:54PM

    In my opinion the TAPI Natural Gas Pipeline will suffer the same fate as the US supplies to Afghanistan whereby a huge number of Container Trucks and Oil Tankers were high-jacked as well as destroyed.
    .
    As such I feel that the TAPI Pipeline will become the Turkmenistan-Iran Pipeline as Turkmenistan is regularly supplying sizable amounts of Natural Gas to Northern Iran and that this TI Pipeline Natural Gas will be converted to LNG at Cha Bahar for onward shipping to West as well as East Coast of India.
    .
    To those Posters who consider that Pakistan will have “Control” of Ships using Cha Bahar I would like them to know that the “Control” is in a Sea Area within the 12 Mile Territorial Limits from the Coast of any country and would draw their attention to the UNCLOS regulations at the following Website :
    .
    United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982link text
    .
    http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/UNCLOS-TOC.htm
    .
    CheersRecommend

  • xnain
    Jul 19, 2015 - 9:01PM

    @Bahubali:
    India had already entered Afghanistan but signuficant grounds have been lost which she is now desperately trying to gain back.
    China and Pakistan may strenghten further inroads by brokering a deal between Taliban and Afghan Govt which would make Taliban a legitimate part of Afghanistan and hence more hurdle for India.
    Furthermore, the Nuke deal isnt going through a smooth sail either as republican (Israeli Friends) dominated houses are likely to errect hurdles for democrat president.
    Plus it would also be difficult to appease religious clergy in Iran about no nuke thing.
    India Iran trade may pick up, but so would be the rest of the region as well. And whats more Ironic for India should be that China can always offer Iran a better deal interm of military equipment and Investment. They have the money and they know how to use it.
    Chahbahar yields nothing for India and it can no way bypass Pakistan and China for enegry and trade security while Gawadar allows Pakistan and China to achieve independence from Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean and Straight of Malaka. At most India can establish a naval post at Chahbahar but thats about it, nothing beyond that seems achievable.Recommend

  • xnain
    Jul 20, 2015 - 12:38AM

    @p r sharma:
    Again you’re again ignoring the ground realities.
    Iran will be the biggest benificiary of Chahbahar
    China may also use the port as alternative supply route. But where does India fit in, is not known. Because if Iran allows India to use the port as military settlement -which seems like most plausable reason-, it would have its own consequences.Recommend

  • sridhar
    Jul 20, 2015 - 2:20AM

    When you have a strategic port in Gwadar, tailor made for China, bypassing the neighbours (India and Iran), do you think such a port would be viable?
    With new agreement in place between Iran and US, Chabar assumes more importance as US would not mind India and other nations using that port.
    US can make or break Gwadar. I see no strategic advantage in Gwadar where Pakistani Army has committed to defending the CPEC with manpower. That is a huge deal considering there is a popular resistance raging in Balochistan.
    This is what happens when you conceive a thing from military angle, not economic angle. It reaffirms one’s view that Army calls the shots as far as security, foreign issues are concerned.
    It will also be interesting to see if Iran would give transit route to US Army and equipment to exit Afghanistan in 2016. If so, that would bypass Pakistan and would be a great setback for Pakistan. Recommend

  • Arjun
    Jul 20, 2015 - 5:03AM

    @Ahmed:

    You must be kidding? More developed countries, India has the manpower and technologies to build ports and airports. Just check who built your favorite country Turkey’s Istanbul airport, GMR constructions (India), that is just one example just check your facts before commenting.Recommend

  • Sun Tzu
    Jul 20, 2015 - 5:28AM

    @Tepper:

    thats called ‘chamchagiri diplomacy’Recommend

  • Lakhkar Khan
    Jul 20, 2015 - 7:35AM

    @Singh:

    46 billions Pak-China Gwadar deal worth VS. 8 billion Iran India deal worth. AceBurn!!Recommend

  • Lakhkar Khan
    Jul 20, 2015 - 7:42AM

    @Igloo:

    Backstabbing like India did to Russia and now friends with the US when Russia is isolated, Raj? Indians will know backstabbing more than anyone else. Recommend

  • Khan
    Jul 20, 2015 - 10:02AM

    Although Iran was, is and will be Pakistan neighbour forget about Muslim hood) habitually it played negative roll – Baluchistan, Afghanistan, India versus Pakistan, it’s behavior always been under question n its not from today even in time of Shah of Iran when honorable ex-president Ayub Khan was forced to warn Iran to behave or ………. Unfortunately, this reality existed at that time and continue till now. Iranian believe in a old saying “your enemy, my friend” but that’s fine, it takes time for such a chronic mind set to learn from its mistakes.Recommend

  • Kolsat
    Jul 20, 2015 - 10:11AM

    @Yasir: If what you have written in your comment is correct thoney on this en why so many coomments. If India is wasting its money on this less than ideal project then Pakistanis should be rejoicing. However I do not see any such comment which means that Pakistan is worried by the impact of this project on Pakistan. I on my part wish that may both projects prosper and bring prosperity to all.Recommend

  • What Gwadar?
    Jul 20, 2015 - 10:14AM

    Gwadar is a turkey. We have been hearing about the “geo-strategic” importance of Gwadar for over 50 years and yet nothing has come of it. It will be another 50 years and Pakistanis will still be talking about the importance of Gwadar. Meanwhile, the West has become self-sufficient in oil. Gwadar will have lost what little importance it had by then.Recommend

  • Naveed
    Jul 20, 2015 - 11:13AM

    The link below is dedicated to those who are thinking Iran after making a trade deal with India has become our foe. Apply the same standard for Saudi regime who has defense pact with India.

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2014/02/28/India-Saudi-Arabia-sign-defense-agreement.htmlRecommend

  • roheen
    Jul 20, 2015 - 12:18PM

    @xnain:
    But the China-Pak economic corridor and the proposed indo-iran port/corridor have two totally different repurposes. The China-pak corridor helps china shorten the distance from the persian gulf to china,makes a lot of economic sense for goods to be transported to Northern China via this route. Where as the purpose of the Indo-Iranian corridor is for India to find markets in central Asia. They both serve different purposes, whats the friction about?? Recommend

  • Xnain
    Jul 20, 2015 - 2:05PM

    @roheen:
    Ofcourse it can be but what purpose would it serve? Would it provide India with energy and supply immunity? I dont think so. Help India-Iran trade? yes but thats about it. Iran connecting to CPEC can bypass volatile Afghanistan for central Asia but would trade volume be sufficient? I dont know.Recommend

  • Murali Nair
    Jul 20, 2015 - 3:37PM

    I am not saying this because I am an Indian. We need to face the changing realities of the world more prudently. For most parts of its independent existence, Pakistan has had a very narrow India-centric outlook whether it was economy, military affairs or foreign policy. For a majority of India’s existence too, atleast till the arrival of Narasimha Rao as the PM, India too had, atleast militarily, a Pakistani centric view point. The unfortunate part is that while India decided to discard this policy from early 1990s (or even late 80s), Pakistan to date continues its way. There is no real objective being met by blocking Indian goods going to Afghanistan via Pakistan when Pakistan could have earned a good amount of transit fee. Years of this blockade, coupled with the Western sanctions on Iran have crippled India, much to some persons with vested interests in Pakistan’s happiness, in terms of its trade with Central Asia. Times have changed; it is not possible for even much more ‘developed’ nations like US and Europe to discount India’s growing economic might. It will be foolhardy on the part of Pakistan to now think that the West will abandon India and support Pakistan from blocking international trade links with Central Asia via Iran and Afghanistan, which in their view, could be hazardous to their own commercial and economic interest – on the contrary they will want to set up manufacturing/trading bases in India and reach the Central Asia from India, reducing transportation costs significantly. While it may be true that India still has to cross Pakistani waters to reach Chabahar, who in his right sense will think that any blocking by Pakistan will not be met with extreme resistance by all world powers? Time is not yet over; there is still a possibility that past can be buried and a futuristic outlook can be made, provided their is political will. No Indian of any educational standing today considers Pakistan any real a threat and there is no point in harping on an imaginary threat from an imaginary enemy, only to fulfill the political whims and fancies of a few politicians and power hungry army generals.Recommend

  • roheen
    Jul 20, 2015 - 3:39PM

    @Xnain: Seems quite simple, so that indian products can make their way to the central Asian countries.There are multiple options , central Asia can be connected to the sea directly via Iran(Turkmenistan-Iran) and also via Afghanistan. Its all about finding new markets and central Asian countries do make up a big market. Look at the other option, Russia lies just beyond the Caspian sea and bilateral trade between Russia and India is about 10 billion USD already.Recommend

  • Farhan
    Jul 20, 2015 - 7:54PM

    @Raza: and this step from Iran will make us reject them forever…Recommend

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