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Indian Premier Urges Optimization of Chabahar Port as Iran Joins SCO

chabahar Baluchistan uzbek India
chabahar Baluchistan uzbek India

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s member states can work for maximizing the utilization of Chabahar Port following Iran’s SCO membership.

Addressing the 23rd SCO Summit, Modi said the International North-South Transportation Corridor can serve as a secure and efficient route for landlocked countries in Central Asia to access the Indian Ocean and “we should strive to realize its full potential,” the official press release by the Indian premier’s office said.

Highlighting the importance of better connectivity, the Indian prime minister said, “Strong connectivity is crucial for the progress of any region. Better connectivity not only enhances mutual trade, but also fosters mutual trust. However, in these efforts, it is essential to uphold the basic principles of the SCO charter, particularly respecting the sovereignty and regional integrity of its member states.”

As Indian news agency Asian News International reported, Chabahar Port is a seaport in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province of Iran in the Sea of Oman. It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti.

Its geographic proximity to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the 7,200-km-long multimodal International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) gives it the potential to develop into one of the most important commercial hubs.

Chabahar Port project is one of the focused projects of India. India, in May 2016, signed an $85 million Chabahar Agreement to establish INSTC. The construction of Chabahar Port and the construction of a railroad from Chabahar Port to Zahedan are the major highlights of the project.

Through the Chabahar Port, the cargo would be brought to the Bandar Abbas Port and Chabahar Port and free Kabul from its dependence on Pakistan.

TChabahar Port will give India access to Afghanistan and beyond to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Europe via INSTC.

One of the key projects of keen interest to India and Iran was linking Chabahar Port to the Zaranj-Delaram Highway in Afghanistan. The Zaranj-Delaram Highway in Afghanistan is a 215-km highway that was already built through assistance provided by India.

The Chabahar Port Project provides an option for an alternate supply route of goods, thus reducing the weightage of Pakistan, which was the only option available till some time back.


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