About Chabahar port
- Chabahar port, which is being jointly developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan, is located in south Iran on the Gulf of Oman.
- Afghanistan is connected to the chabahar port through its land border with Iran, and India via the sea. Thus, the port is readily accessible for all three countries and acts to facilitate trade among them.
- When the first agreement for Chabahar was signed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003 under the North-South Transport Corridor framework, the plan had a three-fold objective:
- to build India’s first offshore port and to project Indian infrastructure prowess in the Gulf;
- to circumvent trade through Pakistan, given the tense ties with India’s neighbour and build a long term, sustainable sea trade route; and
- to find an alternative land route to Afghanistan, which India had rebuilt ties with after the defeat of the Taliban in 2001.
- The first phase of Chabahar port was inaugurated in 2017.
Strategic significance of the Chabahar port
- It is an important pillar of Indian foreign policy aimed at finding shorter routes for its exports and imports, countering China’s influence in the Indian Ocean region, and circumventing Pakistan’s Gwadar port.
- Chabahar is the only port outside of Pakistan that connects Afghanistan to the sea.
- The port also connects India to Central Asian countries that are also major energy producers in the region.
Why in News?
- Representatives from the Government of India visited the Chabahar port in Iran to review the work progress.