As a part of its goodwill gesture, the Indian Government has decided to send 20,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan amid a humanitarian crisis in the war-torn nation, Khaama Press reported.
This will be achieved by using Iran’s Chabahar Port to carry the 20,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan. The generous deed intends to relieve many Afghans who are currently facing food scarcity
The project builds on a success of a previous wheat assistance delivery of 40,000 tons from the land border with Pakistan. The first shipment of 2500 Metric Tonnes of wheat has already left for the port and is scheduled to arrive this week in the province of Herat via Iran.
The Chabahar Port will act as a central transit point, this route will avoid the difficulties posed by the land border but also emphasise the importance of regional collaboration.
In a recent statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the current issues involving the Afghanistan Embassy in New Delhi are an internal matter from India’s point of view. The diplomatic representative still served under the former Afghan ambassador, Farid Mamaondzai.
However, the de-facto government in Kabul recently named a new ambassador for India, which has faced opposition from diplomats and the staff of the Embassy. According to the media source, Qadir Shah was appointed by Taliban leadership to lead the Embassy in New Delhi, as per Khaama Press.
Previously, India sent 20,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chahbahar Port in Iran in partnership with the UN World Food Development Programme. The decision was taken at the India-Central Asia Joint Working Group (JWG) in Afghanistan on March 7, 2023.
On April 15, 2023, India signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the UN World Food Programme to deliver 10,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as a part of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
Earlier on June 25, 2022, India sent a fresh shipment of 3000 metric tonnes of wheat via the land route to Pakistan as part of its humanitarian assistance to the Afghan People, again in partnership with the World Food Programme.
In the previous year, on February 12, India sent 10,000 tonnes of wheat from India to the people of Afghanistan, which was dispatched through the Attari-Wagah land border.
The shipment of 2500 tonnes of wheat was sent to Afghanistan by India through the land border with Pakistan on February 22, 2022.
The Chabahar Port is highly essential for India It acts as a watch tower over the Gwadar Port of Pakistan, which is just 72 nautical miles away from it. India can monitor all military and civilian marine transportation and activities from that port. Additionally, it gives India the access to Afghanistan and, from then, to Central Asia by bypassing Pakistan’s territory.
At present, Pakistan does not allow India access to Afghanistan by land. The port is the gateway to the golden opportunities for trade between India, Iran, and Central Asia. It also ensures the economic and political stability of Afghanistan.
It is also a node for the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which is seen as a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by many experts in the field of India-Iran relations. It is located near the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf region. It is a starting place for the world’s largest and most important SLOC (Sea Lane of Communications) in the maritime security sector.