New Delhi, May 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced after signing Chabahar port deal with Iran that history had been created.
For India this is a very crucial project as it opens up a route to Afghanistan. However what India must also bear in mind is that there should not be any delays in implementing the project.
The Prime Minister is likely to appoint a ministerial committee to oversee the progress of the project for which India has said it will provide 500 million US dollars.
The project which was conceived over a decade back was stuck due to delays largely due to sanctions being implemented on Iran.
History created, but speed matters
While this deal does script a new chapter in the relations with Iran, India must also ensure that no time is wasted in implementing this project.
Some US senators have already questioned this project. "We have been very clear with the Indians about continuing restrictions on activities with respect to Iran," Nisha Desai Biswal, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, said on Tuesday.
Officials say that India is determined in completing this project in quick time. There were various issues in the past decade a major one being sanctions being imposed on Iran.
However with the sanctions gone, India would have no problem in implementing the deal in quick time. The Prime Minister is expected to put his best men on the job and even appoint a ministerial committee to ensure that the project is completed soon.
Stamp on Afghanistan
For India connectivity through Iran is very crucial. The Chabahar project would facilitate trade between India and Afghanistan in a big way.
The route via Pakistan to Afghanistan is blocked for India. Pakistan would never allow any trade activity with Afghanistan.
This Chabahar project provides for a route to Afghanistan. This would essentially mean that the trade route between India and Afghanistan via Iran would be open and un-opposed.
The port will allow India to bypass Pakistan and reach out to the global markets.
Further this project would also counter China's growing influence on the Indian Ocean. China is currently developing the Gwadar Port in Pakistan which is also 100 kms away from the Chabahar port.
This port would help in evolving bi-lateral investments with Iran. The railway line to be set up by IRCON International will help transport good to Afghanistan. The rail line would also link India to Iran's railway network.