Iran plans to give Chabahar port to Pakistan, China, says Indian academic

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KARACHI: Indian- born academic Ashok Swain thinks that Iran wants to give its Chabahar port to Pakistan and China over Narendra Modi’s foreign policy shift towards the United States.

Mr Swain, a professor at Uppsala University, took to Twitter on Saturday to voice his opinion in the backdrop of comments attributed to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during his recent visit to Pakistan.

The Iranian FM met Prime Minister Imran Khan, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during his two day visit amid tensions with the United States.

According to a government press release, Zarif met with the PM and views were exchanged on facilitating movement of people and Zaireen through opening of new border points and promoting local trade activities by establishment of new border markets, besides issues related to beefing up security along the Pakistan-Iran border.

As regards the regional situation, the Prime Minister expressed concern over rising tensions in the Gulf. He underscored that war was not a solution to any problem. Further escalation in tensions in the already volatile region was not in anyone’s interest. All sides needed to exercise maximum restraint in the current situation.

The Iranian FM was also quoted as saying that Tehran was ready to connect Paksitan’s Gwadar port with Chabahar to promote trade and commerce in the region.

Reacting to reports, Prof Swain was of the view that Tehran had decided to give Chabahar to Pakistan and China after Modi stopping buying oil from Iran over American pressure.

“To counter China’s Gwadar port in Pakistan, Dr. Manmohan Singh had gone for Chabahar port in Iran. To declare Masood Azhar UN terrorist before the election, Modi succumbed to American pressure & stopped buying oil from Iran. Now Iran plans to give Chabahar to Pakistan & China!,” the professor tweeted.