India on Sunday began shipment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Iranian port of Chabahar. The consignment would be the first to use the new route via Chabahar to access Afghanistan, even as India plans similar transfers in the coming months.
This shipment is part of India’s commitment to send 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan on a rant basis. It paves the way for operationalisation of the Chabahar port as an alternative, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan.
It will open up new opportunities for trade and transit from and to Afghanistan and enhance trade and commerce between the three countries (India, Iran and Afghanistan) and the wider region.
Despite the tension between Iran and USA:
The move is significant as it indicates India remains firm in delivering on its regional commitment through a partnership with Iran, despite Tehran’s ongoing tension with the United States.
The use of Chabahar is going to be an alternative route to extend necessary support to Afghanistan, in the absence of overland transit rights by Pakistan.
Before Chabahar port:
India had earlier sent goods through the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in 2003 as Pakistan had not eased land access to Afghanistan.
Trilateral Agreement on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor was signed during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to Iran in May 2016.
India assistance to Afghanistan:
Indian government reiterated it’s continued support to reconstruction, capacity building and socio-economic development of Afghanistan, including under the framework of the New Development Partnership that announced last month at the India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council.
2. Joint tri-service exercise ‘’Indra’’ concluded
India and Russia concluded their joint tri-service exercise, Indra, on Sunday. Indra was an 11-day joint training in counter-terrorism operations.
The exercise this year focused on the conduct of counter-insurgency/ counter-terrorism operations under United Nations mandate in a joint service environment.
The exercise began on October 19 and saw the participation of over 800 Indian personnel.
Speciality: This is India’s first tri-service exercise with any country