30th September, 2020

India wheat package reaches Afghan this is why Iran needs to be thanked

The international trade of staple grains is an ancient practice, but the recent Indian recent consignment of wheat that reached Afghanistan has a more elaborate story to tell.

This was the first consignment of wheat that was to reach Afghanistan from India and it was also significant as it portrayed strong trilateral cooperation.

The interesting thing about it was that the consignment was received at the Iranian port of Chabahar – bypassing Pakistan. The significance can be judged as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani came to flag off the consignment on October 29. It reached the Afghan city of Zaranj near the Iran-Afghanistan border on November 11.

The trilateral agreement between Iran, Afghanistan and India will develop the Chabahar port as a transport and transit corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan. The agreement was signed in May last year. Since, Afghanistan is a land-locked country, it has to rely on its neighbors —Iran and Pakistan—for its trade.

Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra said that pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani decorated Zaranj to celebrate as the shipment arrived.

The shipment to Afghanistan was sent on Oct 29. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made a one-day visit to India on October 24. India is a long standing development aid partner for strife-torn Afghanistan.

Swaraj thanked Iran for providing assistance in facilitating the movement of this gift through its Port.

India has committed to supply 1.1 million tonnes of wheat for the people of Afghansitan on a grant basis.