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Pakistan rejects passage to Indian’s cargo flights to Afghanistan

Pakistan rejects passage to Indian’s cargo flights to Afghanistan

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Jan 23, 2019 - 16:55

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Pakistaninfo-icon’s Civil Aviation Authority has denied passage SpiceJet cargo flight from India to Afghanistaninfo-icon three times in the last week of December and on January 11, 14, a media report said on Wednesday accusing Islamabad of violation of civil aviation norms.

According to the Indian media WION, New Delhi raised the matter with Islamabad with Ministry of Externalinfo-icon Affairs sending a ''note verbale'' to Pakistan. 

The development comes even as New Delhi has been trying to connect landlocked Afghanistan with India and rest of the worldinfo-icon

Pakistan has been blocking the land route for trade between Afghanistan and India. 

The India Afghanistan air corridor, launched in 2017, connects Afghanistan with Delhi and Mumbai. The Chabahar port being built in Iran with India's help also provides Afghanistan goods gateway to the world. 

Speaking at first-ever India Central Asia Afghanistan Dialogue in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on 13th January, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, "Joint efforts of India, Iran and Afghanistan have led to the development of the Chabahar Port in Iran as a viable and operational trade route to connect to Afghanistan and potentially to Central Asia. Chabahar provides a shining example of what strong partnership can achieve to overcome any obstacles." 

India has already sent a very substantial quantity of wheat to Afghanistan using the Chabahar port. 

India took over the operations of a part of Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar in Iran last month. On 24th December 2018, India, Iran and Afghanistan jointly inaugurated the office of the Indian SPV - India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ), at Chabahar. The physical take-over of the terminal area, cargo handling equipment and Office building was completed by 29th December 2018.

Commercial operations began at IPGCFZ with the arrival of a vessel. A Cyprus registered bulk carrier had arrived at Chabahar with 72458 MT of corn cargo. The vessel MV MACHERAS berthed at the terminal at 0130 hrs on 30th December 2018. 

Central Asia countries have also lauded Chabahar. Uzbek ambassador to India Farhod Arziev has lauded the project saying a railway project in Afghanistan can connect Uzbekistan with Chabahar.

New Delhi is Afghanistan's largest donor in the region.

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