On Thursday, November 1, Foreign Secretary of India Vijay Gokhale said that India sought to establish an air freight corridor between India and Afghanistan to bypass unwilling regime in Islamabad and seeking to develop Chabahar Port as a gateway to improve connectivity with Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Gokhale was speaking at a Conference: South Asia in the Indo-Pacific context, being organized by think tank CULT. US envoy to India also attended the conference with Foreign Secretary Gokhale.
Gokhale said, “India’s connectivity to our West continues, though, remains blighted. We have sought to bypass an unwilling regime in Islamabad by establishing in June 2017 an air freight corridor between India and Afghanistan, which we plan to expand to more cities”.
He said, “We are also seeking to develop the Chabahar Port as a gateway for onward connectivity to and from Afghanistan and Central Asia. Since its inauguration last year, we have shipped about 110 thousand metric tons of much-needed wheat and 2000 metric tons of pulses from India to Afghanistan through this Port”.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale says regional connectivity in #SouthAsia is very relevant to wider Indo-Pacific and world at large.
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) November 1, 2018
He added, “To tap its full potential for benefit of Afghanistan, we might also need to pursue the development of a rail line from Chabahar to Zahedan at some future stage”.
Gokhale also mentioned about the development of North-South Transport Corridor that will connect India with Central Asia through Iran. He said, “There is also potential for the development of the International North-South Transport Corridor which will considerably reduce time and cost of transport from India to Central Asia”.
India is putting its all efforts to make stronger presence in the Central Asian region via infrastructure and development projects that will help India in increasing its trade with Central Asian and European countries and to assist war torn Afghanistan.