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First ever Afghan cargo embarks to India via Chabahar port

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: Afghanistan where it is no more a landlocked country, has sent first shipment of the Afghan goods to India through Chabahar commercial port on Sunday since the port fictionalize year ago.

The convoy is included 23 trucks carrying 570 tons of goods that would reach India by passing Pakistan—a neighboring state that has been in tense relations with both countries, Afghanistan and India.

President Ashraf Ghani, along with Indian and Iranian ambassadors attended inauguration ceremony in Zaranj city in western Nimroz province, and have inaugurated the first ever embarking of Afghan shipment to India.

Speaking at inauguration ceremony, President Ghani said “today our location is the biggest capital and our location is changing to a great opportunity.” He said no country in the country has become rich by foreign donations, asking the Afghans to make their country rich.    

Moreover, he said Afghanistan has changed from an importer to exporter country, for the first time Afghanistan exports crosses from $1billion with expectation to reach $2billion within years.

Pointing to boosting up domestic resources, he said Afghanistan’s domestic income has increased by 90 percent in the past three years. “18 billion Afs saved in procurement process and the development budget has been spent 92 percent.”

Appreciating India and Iran—the two neighboring countries, who have joined Afghanistan in investment to Chabahar Port, President Ghani urged private sectors support the government to lead the country toward economic development in future.       

Regarding election, he said that Presidential polls would be held in is due time as it is the demand of the Afghan masses. The election would be held in 20 of July. Moreover, he called on security and defense forces to remain neutral in the national process of election. “Security forces must refrain from any kind of meddling in the process.”

Furthermore he said that there is no legitimacy in continuation of war. “Pace will come because there is no religious reason to continue war.”

Minister of Public Work Yama Yari in the sam ceremony, said Chabahar Port being a commercial gateway would open a new chapter in fostering commercial deals in the region. He said currently 150 Afghan companies have invested $50 million in Chabahar.

The ministry plans to establish a shipping branch in Chabahar port to carry goods to International waters with Afghanistan flag waving, he noted.    

Moreover, Indian Ambassador in Kabul Vinay Kumar called the Chabahar port very much important for regional integration and strengthening of the Afghan economy. He said this is an opportunity to remove poverty and move toward development

Iranian Ambassador to Kabul, Reza Bahrami said: “today we proved that the region has the capacity to be used in commercial capacity.”

He said Iran and Afghanistan relation are based on three principles; first state to state relations, second based on mutual respect, and the third is using of joint opportunities.

Caretaker of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Khanjan Alkozai has expressed pleasure over starting exportation through Chabahar, calling it a great opportunity for private sectors. He said Chabahar is another step for ending Afghanistan from dependency.

Complaining over Pakistan’s complicated policy for the Afghan traders, he said, “hundreds of Afghan trucks were stopped for longtime in Pakistan and the Afghan traders’ are forced to pay millions of dollars under different illegal pretext in Pakistan to get their goods.”   

He also called on the government to boost up facilities in custom offices because private sectors are face problems.

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