India’s first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan will reach the war-torn country through the Chabahar Port in Iran, Kabul-based TOLO News has reported, quoting officials from the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).
According to ACCI officials, India will send at least 130,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan in this shipment. “This process is crucial for strengthening trade and transit relations of Afghanistan with India and Iran. We will continue our efforts to provide better grounds for increasing trade activities,” the ACCI deputy head for trade, Kamila Sediqi, was quoted by TOLO News as saying.
This comes just days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani concluded his visit to India this week. Ghani had appreciated India’s move to send wheat to Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, a land-locked country, is completely dependent on Pakistan for access to the sea. Pakistan refuses to give India land access to Afghanistan while it permits Afghan trucks access to Wagah border with India.
Chabahar port, which is being developed by India, gives Kabul and New Delhi an alternative route to expand trade between the two countries. It bypasses Pakistan, limiting Kabul’s dependence on Islamabad for access to the sea. The port will also give India access to resource-rich countries in central Asia.