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Afghanistan relieved that it need not depend on Pakistan to trade with India

Afghanistan would no longer depend on Pakistan for its transit trade with India and other countries with the opening of the strategic Chabahar Port, a top Afghan leader has said. Chabahar Port, located in the Sistan-Balochistan province lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India’s western coast, bypassing Pakistan.

The port is likely to step up trade between India, Afghanistan and Iran in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi for trade with the two countries. India has been closely working with Afghanistan to create alternate and reliable access routes, bypassing Pakistan. “Afghanistan used to rely only on one transit road, which was through Karachi. That is not the case anymore. we will get goods through Chabahar,” Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said.

As per the agreement signed between India and Iran in May last year, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of 85.21 million US Dollars. Afghanistan in the near future would also have trade transit route through Central Asia that would connect the country with Europe.

Afghansitant will be signing one or two agreements with neighbouring countries, including Uzbekistan, hopefully in a few days which will help transit,” he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a top American think-tank, according to media reports from US capital

 Welcoming the new South Asia policy of US President Donald Trump, Abdullah said he is today more hopeful than before that Afghanistan will succeed and will overcome the challenges that are ahead of it.

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