Zarif says ready to connect Pakistan’s Gwadar to Iran’s Chabahar
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he is putting forward a “proposal” during his ongoing trip to Islamabad for connecting Pakistan’s Gwadar port to its “complementary” port Chabahar in southeastern Iran.
“We believe that Chabahar and Gwadar can complement each other,” Zarif said upon arrival in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Thursday.
“We can connect Chabahar and Gwadar, and then through that, connect Gwadar to our entire railroad system, from Iran to the North Corridor, through Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, and also through Azerbaijan, Russia, and through Turkey,” he noted.
“I’ve come here with a proposal for the government of Pakistan for connection between Chabahar and Gwadar.
Pakistan’s arch-rival India is trying to develop the port of Chabahar as a way to gain access to the markets of central Asia as well as Afghanistan by bypassing Pakistan. The port is about 72 km from its Pakistani counterpart Gwadar, which is being developed by China.
The strategic Iranian port city created a unique opportunity for India to send its goods to landlocked Afghanistan through a safe new route. It would to the same effect enable Afghan merchants to export their commodities – mainly fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and minerals – to global markets through Chabahar.