Iran invites Pakistan, China to join India in Chabahar port project

Modi govt seemed failed in putting a leash on officials of its spy agencies for the past several days

Modi govt seemed failed in putting a leash on officials of its spy agencies for the past several days

Zarif also added that the Chahbahar should be liked with with the Gwadar Port as he sought to allay concerns here over Indian involvement in the Iranian port.

In a clear setback for India, Iran has invited China and Pakistan to participate in the development of the strategic Chabahar port, which is being built by India for the goal of bypassing Pakistan.

"We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan economic corridor".

Iran would not allow anybody to hurt Pakistan from its territory, much like Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used against Iran, he said, while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) yesterday, according to Dawn newspaper.

He was summoned by Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Mohammad Faisal and a strong protest was lodged at the "maltreatment being meted out to the officials and families of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi", according to a statement by the Office of Spokesperson of Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry here. As India recently signed a lease to manage operations at the port, the decision to join hands with Iran for the development of the project is not a straightforward one. In November 2017, India delievered the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port.

Zarif said, "our relations with India, just like Pakistan's relations with Saudi Arabia, are not against Pakistan as we understand Pakistan's relations with Saudi Arabia are not against Iran".

There have been incidents of Pakistan's envoys being barred from convening meetings with Hurriyat leaders from Kashmir valley that has been occupied by India for decades. The port opened a new strategic transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan that bypassed Pakistan. The Iranian minister also, meanwhile, extended the invitation to China.

During his three-day visit, Zarif has been pushing Pakistan to play its role in defusing the tensions in the region and contribute to materialisation of a new paradigm of "understanding and inclusion" that he calls "a neighbourhood paradigm".

In this context, India's not likely to be pleased with the Iranian foreign minister's comments.

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