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‘Ready to provide facilities...’: Taliban backs usage of India-built Chabahar port

The Taliban's comment on Chabahar port comes even as it has been keen on Indian investment and revival of Indian infrastructure, and development projects in the country

‘Ready to provide facilities...’: Taliban backs usage of India-built Chabahar port

New Delhi: The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has backed for usage of India-built Chabahar in Iran and has said that it is ready to provide "facilities". A statement issued by the Taliban's foreign ministry "welcomed" the "proposal to include" Chabahar Port in the North-South International Transport Corridor that connects Mumbai to Moscow and passes via Iran and Azerbaijan. The statement highlighted that the regime stands "ready to provide all necessary protection and facilities in this regard." India is developing the first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar & has invested $ 85 million in the project as it provides it larger connectivity across the region, especially to landlocked central Asia. It has also supplied 6 Mobile Habour Cranes-two 140 tons & four 100 tons capacities and other equipment worth $25 Million.

The port has been in the past used for sending humanitarian consignments to Afghanistan. India utilized the Chabahar port to ship 75,000 MTs of wheat as humanitarian food assistance to Afghanistan in 2020. Since December 2018, when Indian company India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) took over operations, the port has handled 215 vessels and 4 million tons of bulk and general cargo.

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The Taliban's comment on Chabahar port comes even as it has been keen on Indian investment and revival of Indian infrastructure, and development projects in the country. Taliban has called for Indian investment in building a new Kabul city during a meeting between the Taliban's minister for Urban Development and Housing (MUDH) Hamdullah Nomani and the head of India's technical team in the country, Bharat Kumar.

The Taliban statement came after the India-Central Asia National security advisors meet that took place in Delhi earlier this week, with a key focus on the situation in Afghanistan and connectivity. The statement welcomed the meeting and appreciated the joint communique of the meeting that expressed "support for a stable, peaceful, integrated and secure Afghanistan..and the principle of non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

Taliban in the statement assured that it "remains committed and will not allow anyone to pose a threat to the region and the world from Afghanistan’s soil or to interfere in other’s internal affairs". The worry remains over Afghanistan becoming a safe haven for international terror groups, and India is concerned that Pakistan-based UN-designated terror groups like JeM, and LeT may find space in the war-raved country.

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Delhi hosted the first ever India- Central Asia National Security Advisors (NSAs) meet on Tuesday. The meeting was one of the key outcomes of the India-Central Asia virtual summit that took place in January. Taliban has hoped that it will be invited to the next meeting that will take place in May 2023 in Kazakhstan where its presence "would help establish cooperation and confidence in security, prevention of human and drug trafficking, delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan, and particularly in the implementation of basic infrastructure projects."

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