Is the Chabahar Port agreement failing India?

Published: July 4, 2016
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The real challenge for India is not signing the baskets of agreements on Chabahar, but their delivery on ground – that faces many challenges. PHOTO: REUTERS

Indo-Iran relations have been abuzz these days. Modi’s take away from Tehran, baskets of agreements and the trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan, has caused panic in Islamabad. There are ample reasons for this panic: these agreements and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) are an index of India’s increasing influence in West Asia and Central Asia and a means to outflank Pakistan.

However, these agreements do not make the ground for any facile assumption that Modi’s take away from Tehran has better positioned India vis-à-vis Pakistan or Afghanistan. All these agreements appear good on paper but, in practice, they face a lot of resistance.

The real challenge for India is not signing the baskets of agreements on Chabahar, but their delivery on ground – that faces many challenges. In India, there is a difference of opinion regarding whether Iran should be considered a strategic or business partner. There are many who deemed fit a buyer-seller relationship with Iran. India did not squarely reckon with the upshots of a strategic relationship with Iran. These differences of opinion are making it difficult for Chabahar to fully use its potential as an economic and geo-strategic project.

Earlier, the Indian Ministry of Finance had demanded a certain assured return of investment of the project, but later decided to go ahead as Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had intimidated India. However, now the ministry is proceeding with utmost caution. Moreover, Chabahar’s success depends upon the commercial strategy that it pursues for its business model. Chabahar has less potential as compared to Gwadar. Gwadar is the only port in the region to accept 200,000 tonnes of supertankers whereas Chabahar can only accept 20,000 tonnes. Therefore Chabahar, as a successful economic project, cannot outflank Gwadar.

Another factor worth acknowledging is that Afghanistan itself is a part of problem, not the solutionInstability in Afghanistan may not help realise India’s dream of increasing its influence in the Caucasus region. The National Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITNs) has not been developed; it is still a pipe dream. Given the turmoil in the Middle East, Iran is more concerned about securing its border with Afghanistan which could hamper India’s aims of moving into Afghanistan the way it wants to.

Iran does not serve Indian interest in Afghanistan. It also doesn’t stand with India when it opposes any attempt at reaching out to the Taliban. The biggest problem India faces in Afghanistan is the absence of any regional strategic partner in Afghanistan. So, the trilateral agreement may reflect cooperation between Iran, India and Afghanistan but it may not translate effectively into political cooperation, let alone geo-strategic partnership.

What further instigates tension is the fact that Iran and India have many diverging interests. Chabahar is made out to be a means of increasing ‘connectivity’ and ensuring ‘security’ but Iran may not be able to align itself with India on its larger geo-strategic and economic goals. In the past, Iran never opposed the Pak-China Gwadar Port and, in sync with its past policies, claimed Gwadar and Chabahar as sister ports. India expressed its interest in developing a major oil field in Iran but Iran refused to give India its gas marketing rights. So, to say, too many expectations on India’s part are bound for disappointment.

India’s interests also diverge from those of Iran. It is not in a position to make Iran its geo-strategic partner and use Chabahar for its larger geo-strategic aims. India has to remain equidistant amidst the Riyadh-Tehran rivalry in Middle East. It also has its interests on stake because of the Iran-Israel divide. New Delhi, in all these sets of relationships, is in no position to take sides, which makes it harder to utilise Chabahar as a geo-strategic port. India means business when it comes to Iran. The game India wants to play in the West and Central Asia needs patience and finesse, for which Pakistan has a befitting reply.

What must also be acknowledged is that China is crucial to Iran’s interests. This can be used by Pakistan, in fact, to outflank India’s Chabahar. Pakistan should adopt the approach: seize the Chinese moment, play the Chinese card. A post-sanctions Iran is looking for economic opportunities opened up by China’s ‘one-belt, one-road’ initiative; Chabahar is only one of such avenues that are being explored by them.

At this point, Pakistan needs to enhance its trade with Iran and develop the western route for CPEC. Pakistan has no reason to fear Chabahar. We should work diligently to connect to Central Asia. In today’s interdependent world, no state (especially a less influential one) can convince other states to refrain from forming economic relations with other countries. It can, nevertheless, engage economically in such a way to become influential.

Ghazanfar Ali Garewal

Ghazanfar Ali Garewal

Ghazanfar Ali Garewal is Lecturer in International Relations department NUML Islamabad and Coordinator of the department. He has been writing on Politics, Social Issues and Education for an English newspaper, Pakistan Observer.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hmm

    You know Mister, what does we say in our Language..Recommend

  • Srinivasulu Mekala

    This is a “feel good” article. Pakistanis should believe this author, stop complaining about India’s Chabahar agreement, feel good and move on. We Indians are happy even if Chabahar does not turn out to be an economical miracle for us. Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    This project is meant to give Afghans a alternative roiute and not be dependant on Pakistan. First and last aim.Recommend

  • deepu

    Concentrate on CPEc and forget everything else. India wants to by-pass Pakistan for justified reasons and Chabahar port project fulfill its objects, period.Recommend

  • Rohan

    Another article filled with hate and jingoism, it has got no figures, more propaganda, well done ispr Recommend

  • Feroz

    The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Speculation can rest till then.Recommend

  • Pashtun

    After wasting massive investments in Afghanistan, India now wants a military base in iran to create chaos in Pakistan and to tackle the influence of China in the region. The self declared most charming lady of the world (as according to Chinese media) may not be beautiful but is very cunning and deceptive. Afghan Islamists are more strict when there comes the matter of Religion and india knows it very well that ground realities favor the Mujahideen. Iran should not open another front against Pakistan at the time when she is engaged in war with Iraqi and Syrian Muslims, indigenous Muslims, Kurds and GCC states. Pakistan needs to stay calm and must stay away from america .Recommend

  • Raj

    Ok dear. WHatever Pakistan does only will succeed and all others especially India will fail. Ok????? Now, stop this non-sense.Recommend

  • Shantanu patidat

    A foolish nation has done another blunder, keep going investing into this and loose all your money. You can’t do even anything untill Afghanistan is stable but the fact is 48 nation invaded Afghanistan but the result is Taliban still controlling 70% of area.Recommend

  • nasir ali khan

    Why are you wasting your time in reading and commenting? You seem to be concerned with the analysis but trying to hide it behind a mask of indifference Recommend

  • Vikram Aditya

    Writer forgot that Pakistan don’t have capacity to do robust trade with any country. The country whose economy is only 250 billion dollar can never enhance its own ex port or import with Iran. India is a big market for the world. Iran trade partner is India whichis a big market.
    Pakistanis jumping about CPEC.
    CPEC is a economic corridor to send goods to china. It has nothing to do with industrial development of country. If u think ur economy will improve just by sending goods to china . Thn this is gross mistake.cpec is not a manufacturing unit or will not increase export of Pakistan. Lol Recommend

  • Rhea

    This is like the Camel that desperately likes to bury its head in sand. Feel sorry for the author, but also alarmed for Pakistan.Recommend

  • mullawala

    Chinese investment in Pakistan is money down the drain with Pakistan being equally insecure as Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Concard

    Why are Pakistanis are getting so worked up about Chabahar if it is going to fail? Chabahar is more than a port for us. It is not just a port to ship oil to India but a port for our intelligence agency RAW to do some good charity work in Balochistan. As you know the distance between Gwadar and Chabahar is not very far. Our charity work will benefit Balochistan. You shouldn’t get too jealous about it.Recommend

  • Nori

    This story is like the same story written in 1947, that the so called promised land of pure for muslims-Pakistan- will be peaceful and safe. Right??? It is ok is feel secure but to make foolish assumptions like current delisions of Pakistan establishment and this article will only make nations like India more determined.Recommend

  • Silver Black

    The success of Chabahar will also depend largely upon stability in Afghanistan which doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. Iran by opening up it self to Afghanistan will also invite a whole lot of troubles.Recommend

  • Samay

    Lol you make me laugh . Haven’t you study economy or what ?. What do think dubai main source of income, why it’s called the financial hub of central asia . Because the bigger ships goes there and the good transfer it to smaller ships which then export it to countries like india ,pakistan and so on . The gawadar port gives opportunity to bigger ships to transfer goods from bogger ships to smaller ships in gawadar and save the distance towards dubai. They can do it here in gawadar and who says the pakistani government will not take taxes for using thier port? . It will definitely benefit the economy stop misleading othersRecommend

  • Enkay

    I would request our Pakistani Friends to go through the Indian Newspaper Web Sites and check the number of Articles in the Indian English Media about Gwadar!Recommend

  • Enkay

    Shantanu patidat : China is Investing Billions upon Billions of US Dollars in CPEC including a very substantial amount on Gwadar – a Port that China has built. India is investing around US$ 100 Million just to upgrade Two to Three Berths which it will HIRE for Ten Years. India’s main Trade will be with Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan with a Gas Pipe Line from Turkmenistan to Chabahar and then a Deep Sea Pipe Line to India making a landfall in Indian State of Gujarat. India will not use Chabahar to TRADE with China as India has access to China via Myanmar and a Highway is being built for this trade.Recommend

  • Amanullah Khan

    Indians must remember that Taliban have defeated both the super powers first Russia and now the USA. Your dreams can not come true without the help of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Afghan Taliban have control over some areas of southern Afghanistan. Chabahar road that links to central Asia is through Northern Afghanistan. If this cuts down logistics cost for India then the return on the $400 million invested in the port is assured. The goodwill of Iran and Afghanistan is a big bonus which cannot be quantified in money.Recommend

  • Gp65

    There are no facts and figures which can be called analysis. It simply has the author’s opinion. Recommend

  • maynotmatter

    What all this so called strategic economic thinkers forget is the size of market India has to offer vs the size of market Pakistan has to offer. Simple maths. 1.3 billion vs 370 million. Even total middle class population in India is about 300 million people (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_of_living_in_India). People glorifying CPEC and Chabahar project are simply thinking emotionally rather than strategically and economically. The assumptions is more driven by the wishful thinking that other fails rather than looking at the potential of the routes. Pakistan would have done more good it’s own economy by allowing India Afghan trade route through it. That coupled with CPEC would have increased it’s economy manifold rather than just putting all egg in one single basket called CPEC.
    For India Chabahar is the next feasible and economical route when the route through Pakistan was denied. But nevertheless the only route to Central Asia and Europe. Where there is a will there is always a way.Recommend

  • maynotmatter

    Yet another make yourself feel good type of wishful thinking. We will discuss this again 5 years later.Recommend

  • maynotmatter

    Healthy debate on someone’s analysis is not even remotely a projection of concern. Do you have anything to debate besides attacking a commentor ?Recommend

  • Osama

    Brilliant article. I feel jealous of the students at NUML Islamabad.Recommend

  • Osama

    Shantanu, let Indians waste their money. We Pakistanis are happy we don’t have to invest any money in Pakistan. We have better things to invest money in like the army, the ISI, Haqqanis, and the Taliban.Recommend

  • Ghulam Lone

    And what you guys have forgotten in your fantasies of an Indo-Iran alliance against Pakistan is that China has invested much much much more than India, and Iran would be very unlikely to do anything to upset China (like, allying with China’s junior rival against Pakistan).

    And you guys also forget that CPEC isn’t just a road to China. It’s a whole package of infrastructure projects that will resolve Pakistan’s energy problems within a few years. That energy problem has severely hampered Pakistani industrial growth. With better energy supplies and infrastructure, Pakistan will at least have the ingredients for rapid economic growth.

    That is why CPEC is a big deal. It’s not just a toll road to China. Recommend

  • Ghulam Lone

    It might offer a by pass, but India already uses bandar Abbas to trade with Iran. And chabahar is situated very far away for central Asia’s centers of economic activity, which are actually pretty close to the Chinese border. Since Afghanistan is so unstable, Indian goods would have to go in a massive circular detour around Afghanistan through deserts, mountains, and over five painfully slow border crossings before getting to fergana valley and eastern Kazakhstan where all the economic activity is.

    In comparison, CPEC will result in a high quality road that goes straight from industrial northern Punjab into kashgar, from where there already exist several roads to cross over the tian Shan mountains and into Kazakhstan and towards fergana valley. Indian goods will have to travel five times farther than Pakistani goods, resulting in transportation costs that will severely limit India’s competitiveness. And those countries would much rather use the shorter CPEC for their own trade needs.

    Next, Pakistan already has transit trade agreements with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and China. It will also soon sign with Tajikistan and uzbekistan. These countries make India and Pakistan look mature, so signing these complex treaties takes years of work to sort out their bickering. India had only signed agreements with iran and Afghanistan, because Central Asia is a much harder place. Though granted, India might be able to the model of our Central Asia-Pakistan-China treaty as a starter, but India would also have to include Turkmenistan – which isn’t exactly known to cooperate much with the outside world despite the government talking about a new Silk Road since 1991.

    So Pakistan and China have set the ground work for CPEC to be the way in and out of Central Asia, and india is still several years behind and is investing in an extremely dangerous route to send uncompetitively priced exports to a country with a GDP less than that of Ahmedabad.Recommend

  • Ghulam Lone

    If chabahar isn’t economically viable, then why would you guys be happy to have wasted money? A failed project will not add to India’s prestige or security!Recommend

  • Ghulam Lone

    No, it’s meant to give Indian goods a way into Afghanistan. Afghanistan makes very little trouble about all its other trade coming in through Karachi. And they can send many goods to India across Pakistan, only India cannot send goods back to Afghanistan across Pakistan. Besides, Taliban control vast parts of southern Afghanistan and eastern Afghanistan. It’s a dangerous country for drivers, so no afghan truckers would want to ever drive and risk being kidnapped or killed by Taliban. Thus, as long as there is Taliban Afghanistan will have no choice but to use Karachi. Only Herat is an exception.

    So chabahar is a dangerous project to send Indian goods to a country with a GDP of only $60 billion per year. It will not be a good investment as a transit port for Afghanistan. Maybe you guys can use it for some other reason instead.Recommend

  • PJ

    Please keep in mind that Bharat suffers from a lack
    of self esteem. Hindus have an inferiority complex.
    This is well known all over the world. Plus there is a
    Caste System. Which interferes with EVERYTHING.
    A hindu engineer[considering himself upper caste] will not
    touch plans, architectural drawings, paperwork which has
    been handled by a lower caste hindu. See the problem?
    And THAT will be the stumbling bloc. Will bring it down.Recommend

  • irfan malik

    29 million us dollor air port in gawader only 14 km away from city centre .
    build by china which have capacity to land world biggest aircraft .
    that infrastructure build by china only lease for 30 years .
    45 billion for sake of 30 years lease is not a bad idea .Recommend

  • Mihir

    paksitan is a fialed state. It is only an matter of time when it is declared bankrupt and its nuclear arsenal taken away. From 27th Janaury 2017 astrologically paksitan will seuffer a sever setback and from 27th October 2017 the astrological position will be so bad for paskitan that by 2019 there will be no paskitan and we will see new countries like balochsitan, sindhudesh, pashtunistan, serkaistan . Paksitan si lving on borrowed time . That issue will crop up starting novermber 2016 after raheel sharif steps downRecommend

  • Mihir

    I agree with you entirely . Pakistani journalists may write articles to divert attention of Pakistani from critical issues like lack of infrastructure, electricity, gas, petrol, ,problems like inflation , corruption , illiteracy are side tracked by these kind of silly articles which do not solve any problem just are time pass gimmick to divert the attention of the Pakistanis from the problems they are actually facing.Recommend

  • sk

    the concluding part of article itself reflects the frustration of the writer about the Chabahar port & Indo-Pak relations. If you are not worried then why so much write up on the port & agreements, just ignore it! What you did for China to bring closer to US the same way India protected Iran’s interest even during sanctions from US from back office channels. Iran realizes India as trustworthy Influential growing strategic geopolitical as well as geo-economy partner who is now tremendously influencing Western countries as well as US with its core democratic values & principles unlike China & Pakistan.Recommend

  • sk

    India’s strategic interest with Chabahar port is direct & alternative access to Central Asia & Afghanistan & alternative route for military forces being present in Afghanistan of US, Western countries as well as India as Pakistan tried to blackmail India & others by denying land-access to Afghanistan for trade purpose. Hence such agreements should be attributed to Pakistan’s economic policy failures which are normally compromised under undue influence and interference of its Army which remained always short-sighted & liability for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ferrukh Mir

    For a moment, leaving aside the article,comments which in majority are pouring out from Indian commentators are crispy.There have only targeted Pakistan to criticize and to exhibit their self serving intellect. They haven’t criticized the topic on merit,but have started a sort of yelling. Non on them have tried to refute argument of the author with a counter but logical argument. If they had invested little time contemplating the geographical location of the Chabahar and objectives of the trilateral group and then had compared it with Gawader and objective for which it is being erected. Then one could enjoy the literary input of these commentators. so they need to grow to a mature level.Recommend

  • sParthiv

    I think the camel is actually an ostrich Recommend

  • Syed Bushra

    Its normal for manufacturing supply-chain to move closer to the final transit point, if the labour costs are lower which they are in Pakistan’s case. Hence, Pakistan is also developing “special economic zones” (SEZ) in the transit areas of CPEC. China employed this model post-1980 along with tax incentives to attract foreign investment and its been a resounding success. There is no doubt Gwadar is a game changer.Recommend

  • Soledad

    Anyone who uses the silly term “befitting reply” needs to change the ink in his pen. What’s next? “muh tor jawaab? haddi pasli ek kar denge?” Grow up, man, grow up.

    For India, it does not matter that Chabahar can only accommodate vessels of 20,000 tons or less. It’s like buying a lottery ticket – you probably will not win but if you don’t buy a ticket you cannot win.

    Pakistan can change the entire dynamics of Chabahr vs Gwadar by allowing India access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.Recommend

  • Sudhanshu Swami

    Afghanistan has problematic areas like Pakistan’s north east area. India have shorter route to north east Afghanistan and some central Asian countries. Chabahar route is shorter from Indian trading hubs like Mumbai and Gujarat. Also it deepens India’s Relations with Iran and Afghanistan. They will remember us that who supported them when their economy needed support. Pakistan signed agreement with China which will affect Iran, Oman and UAE’s business. Pakistan denied trade between India and Afghanistan. Pakistanis are emotional and they think that policies are driven by religions only. but others are not realistic.Recommend

  • Sudhanshu Swami

    In one statement author says “India has to remain equidistant amidst the Riyadh-Tehran rivalry in Middle East.” In another statement he writes “At this point, Pakistan needs to enhance its trade with Iran… ” (ie Shia Iran). Is author writing just for having good good feeling for Pakistani readers ?Recommend

  • Sanket Kohli

    which era r u living in ? yes it was true in 1980s . But now 90% of SC/ST are rich . There is NO touching issue in India now even in rural area . While killings of Shias havnt ceased in Pak .Recommend

  • Hafiz Muhammad Qasim Mughira

    The writer hasn’t said that we’re solely relying on the CPEC.As far as industrial development is concerned, don’t you think that we may import machinery and raw material through this channel?If our economy is only 250 dollars, don’t we have the right to boost it?Surely, we do have the right and that’s what the writer has talked of.He has discussed our potential of economic growth and choices available…Recommend

  • Sanket Kohli

    the money invested by india there is an infinitely small portion of its economy . Hope u get it urselfRecommend

  • Sanket Kohli

    haha. trueRecommend

  • Khalid Khan

    I wish both Chahbahar and Gwadar ports can become the means of prosperity and unity for everyone India, China, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Don’t know when we shall grow up and learn from Europeans and other nations. We all need trade to end the poverty among our masses And most importantly, we do need peace too. Religion can’t fill our bellies.Recommend

  • PJ

    You cannot make hindus understand anything. They don’t want to understand. That’s why they are still hindus. Muslim haters.
    THEY are paid to spread disinformation. in papers like ET. All over
    the world. See, there are 2 billion of them. With nothing to do.Recommend

  • bcm

    My god ! what awful pieces they are writing in rivalry? They are always talking of CPEC on which they did not invest a single penny. They are totally dependent on China yet they continue tall talking with Chinese money. Pakistan has really ignorant analysts. I would blame it on the educational standards there. Not a surprise,since its an Islamic country and in Islamic countries only 2% people have university education.Recommend

  • bcm

    Well let me remind you in US, Hindus and Jews have the highest socioeconomic levels among all the religions. 57 % of them have postgraduate education, which is nearly five times the national average. 48 % of them have an income of $100,000 or more. In case of Muslims its just 14%. Guess what?, you are living in fools paradise.Recommend

  • bcm

    Well, what is tickling you? Its none of your business as to whether the port is profitable or not, after all neither its not your money nor on your land. Any way this is not a big money considering the size of Indian economy. By the way let me tell you, Japan is also a partner in chabahar project. Guess what? Japs are not idiots Recommend

  • bcm

    Wait for sanctions which may be in offing.Recommend

  • bcm

    Iran and Afghanistan are aligned with India with US backing so not an issue.Recommend

  • bcm

    Northern Afghanistan is Northern Alliance controlled so not an issue.Recommend

  • bcm

    They have a habit of looking at what India is doing? they dont have time to peep in their country.Recommend

  • bcm

    No comparison indeed ,Chabahar is for the Indian convenience. They are investing $20 billion in industries there. They need a port for their stuff. Business objectives are different in case of both ports. You cannot invest this amount as you dont have the money.$20 billion is your total foriegn exchange reserve.Recommend

  • bcm

    China never has the world’s biggest aircraft carrier lol. Its US that has them. China can never build such carriers. Till date its only carrier is non operational. They are still experimenting with air wing. Russia refused them Su33 , carrier aircraft. You are China’s paid slaves.Recommend

  • bcm

    I have to say its economics. GDP of Pakistan is $270 billions whereas Indian state Maharashtra is $398 billions. Pakistan’s worth is not equal to even1 state of India. Pakistanis should stop comparing themselves with India. You dont figure anywhere.Recommend

  • bcm

    Not really, if you dont stop supporting Taliban. Sanctions might be imposed on you. There is something going on in this regards.Recommend

  • bcm

    Not really, its not focused on Afghanistan. The main focus is Iran and Central Asia as this will be integrated with North South Transport Corridor.Recommend

  • bcm

    Well you should not ask money from US. Pak army desperately wants US money.Recommend

  • Srinivasulu Mekala

    You have not understood the point. If Pakistanis feel this project is going cause losses to India and thus becomes a cause to celebrate, we Indians are not keen to argue and prove them wrong. We would rather allow them to enjoy their delusion. As for the Chabahar port, India will benefit a lot and I do not want to elaborate and cause heart burn to my neighborhood. Best of luck with your CPEC and Gwadar.Recommend

  • Mahesh Agrawal

    What fantasy are you living in? Only 1980s? What was 1997 Ramabai nagar killings where dalits protesting the desecration of Ambedkar’s statue were killed by the state police?!

    Before you claim this is one incident and now everything is alright, let me point out that in 2014 alone 47,064 crimes were reported against the scheduled castes. Top of the list of these crimes were sexual assaults and rape. How typical.

    Even if Pakistanis tried, they can’t top our oppression of dalits.Recommend

  • Mahesh Agrawal

    No one doubts the fact that Indians living in US, UK, Canada and even in Gulf are safer and happier than Indians in India.Recommend

  • Mahesh Agrawal

    Except it doesn’t.

    An oil pipeline via land route is way cheaper than shipping oil through Chabahar. Inefficiencies in delivery method will add to the final cost of goods making Indian goods less competitive globally. Similarly, goods traveling from Central Asia on land via Pakistan will be cheaper and arrive faster.

    All Chabahar shipping gymnastics does is make China a more attractive market for Central Asia. The producers will get higher profits if they sold their goods in China because its accessible via land route through “One Belt” initiative.

    Modi government is wasting money and shooting itself in the foot. No wonder we’re investing peanuts in Chabahar compared to what Chinese are investing in Gwadar.
    Recommend

  • Farwa Akbar

    I’m really surprised at Indians’ immature response over this article. Guys, you should digest the logical argument well-constructed by author. For all the angry Indians bashing at author: you can hear the same views on the Chahbhar agreement in your own academic and analyst circle. show some courage to accept the flaws in the agreements. pity all the scared and immature Indian commentators here who do not take pains to read articles on Chahbhar even in their leading Indian newspapers. Grow up Guys!!Recommend

  • Farwa Akbar

    I’m really surprised at Indians’ immature response over this article. Guys, you should digest the logical argument well-constructed by author. For all the angry Indians bashing at author: you can hear the same views on the Chahbhar agreement in your own academic and analyst circle. show some courage to accept the flaws in the agreements. pity all the scared and immature Indian commentators here who do not take pains to read articles on Chahbhar even in their leading Indian newspapers. Grow up Guys!!Recommend

  • Mahesh Agrawal

    Chinese have already invested close to $50 billion in Pakistan. We have only invested some hundred million in Chabahar.Recommend

  • Mahesh Agrawal

    Gwadar airport is being constructed at a cost of $260 million, not $29 million. It will be an international airport capable of handling the largest of passenger planes including the A-380.Recommend

  • Asad Garewal

    Excellent analysis. Indian’s response indicate. How much they are stubborn.Recommend

  • np

    So many bad assumptions:
    1) Indians = Hindus when in fact India has almost as many Muslims as Pakistan
    2) 2 billion Hindus? Where?
    3) They cannot understand anything -hence they are Hindus? Really? Have you compared ISRO with SUPARCO? Indian software industry with Pakistani software industry? Bollywood with Lollywood? IPL vs PSL? IT is because of lack of understanding of Hindus that all these Indian institutions perform better than Pakistan?Recommend

  • Fareed Ahmad Kundi

    Very well.and.comprehensive analysis sir, the main thing which Promote Pakistan stature is worth of CPEC than Cha Bahar next it is true that both Iran.and INdia is having divergence of interest , but physically INdia already access CARS and it’s development like Zaranj Delaram highway which passed from.northern Afhanistan where majority of population is Tajiks and Uzbaks, ,, INdia aim.to marginalized Pakistan while when Iranian ambassador his presentation at ISSI we see to connect Cha Bahar with CPEC,Recommend

  • Abdus Salam

    There is no reason for Afghanistan route Iran as an export route to India, because Afghanistan can already export to India via Pakistan. It is only forbidden to import Indian goods via Pakistan. And it’s not a very good route to Central Asia because Afghanistan isn’t safe for transit. And the economic zones in Central Asia are near the Chinese border. Basically, India might get access to Central Asia, but the cost of transit will make their goods noncompetitive against China’s, and those countries would use CPEC for their own exports because to route to Chahbahar is so much longer. Afghanistan and Iran share borders with Pakistan, therefore strategically both states are directly linked with Pakistan and China, and they can survive without India but can’t survive without Pakistan and China. It’s going to be impossible for India to change that fact.Recommend

  • Abdus Salam

    There is no reason for Afghanistan route Iran as an export route to India, because Afghanistan can already export to India via Pakistan. It is only forbidden to import Indian goods via Pakistan. And it’s not a very good route to Central Asia because Afghanistan isn’t safe for transit. And the economic zones in Central Asia are near the Chinese border. Basically, India might get access to Central Asia, but the cost of transit will make their goods noncompetitive against China’s, and those countries would use CPEC for their own exports because to route to Chahbahar is so much longer. Afghanistan and Iran share borders with Pakistan, therefore strategically both states are directly linked with Pakistan and China, and they can survive without India but can’t survive without Pakistan and China. It’s going to be impossible for India to change that fact.Recommend

  • Fareed Ahmad Kundi

    Very well.and.comprehensive analysis sir, the main thing which Promote Pakistan stature is worth of CPEC than Cha Bahar next it is true that both Iran.and INdia is having divergence of interest , but physically INdia already access CARS and it’s development like Zaranj Delaram highway which passed from.northern Afhanistan where majority of population is Tajiks and Uzbaks, ,, INdia aim.to marginalized Pakistan while when Iranian ambassador his presentation at ISSI we see to connect Cha Bahar with CPEC,Recommend

  • KD Shakir

    Very realistic and thought provoking article by the author he has rightly pointed out that political cooperation is low between New Dehli and Tehran so they can’t be strategic partners. interests of the three nations are divergent and somehow conflicting. If we compare Gawadar with Chahbahar it is fact that chahbhar can only serve trade purposes but its capacity is very smaller then Gawadar,Gawadar is not only a port but a strategic asset its part of pak china joint strategy to challenge Indian position in the Indian ocean as China has made many arrangements with littoral state including Mayanmar and has got access to Indian ocean. The other challenge for India is to synchronise its policies toward Iran,Israel and Suadi Arabia because India is heavily dependent on Israel for its defence needs and at same token a large number of Indian diaspora is in Suadi Arabia so it would be difficult to take sidesRecommend

  • KD Shakir
  • KD Shakir

    You are optimistic about Indian economic performance but the poverty and unemployment index of India is higher than pskistan Recommend

  • KD Shakir

    We are not complaining at all because it would not affect Gawadar at all it is a micro project as compare to Gawar and serve only commercial purposes unlike GawadarRecommend

  • Asmara Ali

    Marvellous piece of writing which actually enlightens the thinking process of one’s mind. The author has been successfully eliminated feeling of insecurity arisen as a result of trilateral agreement and has rightly encouraged to focus on building strong economic ties with iran. May our policy makers also pay heed to the new angle of CPEC as discussed in this article, which will surely make our country prosperous.Recommend

  • Irfan Grewal

    Excellent AnalysisRecommend

  • Irfan Grewal
  • maynotmatter

    And your response was nothing but just a bad attempt to pity all Indians. Grow out of your insecurity and inferiority complex against India and apply the same logic to yourself on looking at the feasibility of Chabhar project. There are many in Pakistan who thinks CPEC is not good for Pakistan’s own industry. Will those voices be measured as more valid then what rest of Pakistan thinks ?Recommend

  • maynotmatter

    Are you on behalf of rest of Pakistan admitting that Taliban is your tool against regional stability ? People of Afghanistan will keep resisting Taliban for economical progress and the world will keep helping them. Taliban is not surviving because they are brave warriors but simply because they are cowards hiding behind women and children whom they use as shields. They are the monsters who snatch childhood from kids and give them weapon to fight and kill. But mothers and good citizens of Afghanistan are tired of this, and such monstrosity will never last. So celebrate as much as you want on the thought that Taliban will emerge successful this time around. And I bet my money that Afghanistan will progress. It is up to Pakistan whether they want to help in progress or keep interfering by supporting Taliban as it did in 90s.Recommend

  • Farwa Akbar

    Shakir, you’re right.Recommend

  • Farwa Akbar

    Because economic engagement is the apt response to the game India wants to play.Recommend

  • DudeFromDC

    Which response exactly was an immature angry one?Recommend

  • LS

    What? Dubai a financial hub? Dubai is in Central Asia? What baloney… Dubai is NOT in Central Asia it is in Arabian Peninsula..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Asia

    It is NOT a financial hub it is a trading hub because it offers tax rebates that employs vast number of expats, mostly packaging goods manufactured elsewhere or simply re-routing the goods.

    http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21653621-gulf-states-expansion-more-sustainable-its-previous-boom-growing-up

    YOU STOP MISLEADING OTHERS.Recommend

  • LS

    So you are supporting a guy who thinks Dubai is in Central Asia.. Geography failed there… You are supporting a guy who thinks Dubai is a Financial Hub of some sort when it is not.. It is just a trading hub (Assembling, re-packaging, rerouting, doing minor enhancement to goods)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Asia

    http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21653621-gulf-states-expansion-more-sustainable-its-previous-boom-growing-up

    They day you guys get some education it would do the world a lot of good and there would be less terrorists..

    Your diatribe about hindus was expected Jat Sher..PJ and what all other handles you use… I say get educated first… try getting admission in 5th grade geography first before tackling something called economics. BTW Hindus are known for education and science, Muslims are not.

    A deep sea port isn’t enough, anyone who is coming from suez canal will still go to Dubai because their SEZ’s offer a “Free Zone” that pakistan does not, their SEZ’s do not have security issue or terrorists, their SEZ’s have right infrastructure.. your country does not even have power to support itself. Nandipur is caput, kalabagh is lurking, we are hearing about gawadar since last 50 years.. nothing has happened… so much talk… no results in the ground… all talk.. talk is cheap… just like the education… that tells you Dubai is in Central Asia.. lol..

    here is the real kicker..
    http://www.topuniversities.com/system-strength-rankings/2016?utm_source=tu_house_banners&utm_medium=web_banner#sorting=rank+custom=rank+order=desc+search=

    Find where pakistan is in this list… exactly… bottom… the very last one.. Recommend

  • LS

    India does not build projects for prestige. It runs projects because they make more sense. Here is how:
    1) Use Iranian gas to manufacture Urea right in Iran and then transport Urea to India rather than transporting low density gas to India to manufacture urea there.
    2) Use Chabahar SEZ’s to manufacture other goods and export them to central Asian Market using INSTC
    3) User Chabahar as end port of INSTC
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North%E2%80%93South_Transport_Corridor
    4) Japan, Afghanistan, India, Iran are all collaborating to enhance not only the port but build industries, railways, roads (most are already built), power plants.

    All the above is bigger in scope than CPEC at fraction of the cost. We all know about your worlds most expensive metro bus project which wasn’t as great… so big money spending does not necessarily mean good… results. IP pipeline, gwadar port, metro bus projects all are testament to that.. lot of big money, big promises.. caput result…Recommend

  • LS

    INSTC does not go to Afghanistan… Chabahar offers a port connectivity to Afghanistan which they can use it if they like… not using it is their loss.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North%E2%80%93South_Transport_CorridorRecommend

  • KD Shakir

    There would be economic zone across the country.Pakistan would become a place where every country will be impatient to invest and install industriesRecommend

  • ShakirKD Shakir

    failYou are facing serious challenge regarding minorities Indian so called secular was aimed to keep united the diverse nation but you can see how Modi government is treating minorities.If secular model fails India will failRecommend

  • KD Shakir

    Pakistan has the key to stabilise Afghanistan my friend Recommend

  • KD Shakir

    You off course time will prove that Gawadar is a game changer in the regionRecommend

  • KD Shakir

    Off course every state is rational actor and will care it’s own interest the most so there will be assurance for India by Iran and AfghanistanRecommend

  • KD Shakir

    I mean there would no assuranceRecommend

  • KD Shakir

    US backing is main Issue are you sure about US-Iran relations?do you think US -Iran nuclear deal is successful? Not certain yet US Iran relation may be so goodRecommend

  • KD Shakir

    It isn’t the case we are well awear of situation despite we have some little problems but these problems can’t hinder pakistan development and prosperityRecommend