Saturday, January 24, 2009

Delaram to Zaranj High way

Delaram to Zaranj High way:

On January 22 - 2009, the 215-km-long highway from Delaram to Zaranj in Afghanistan was handed over to the Afghan authorities by the visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Does any one thought what is so important about this High way in Afghanistan and why external affairs minister went for the function.

What is Delaram to Zaranj High way?
It is the High way road, which runs from Delaram in Nimroz Province of Afghanistan connecting to the city of Zaranj on its Iranian border. This road starts from Delaram and ends in Zaranj, which links the main Kandahar-Herat highway to the Zaranj located west of Afghanistan on its Iranian boarder.
Who Built this Highway?
The total project was funded and constructed by Indian Border Roads Organization. The total cost of this project is $150 million and was entirely funded and executed by India.

What is special about this road?
Afghanistan is a landlocked country and has so far been highly dependent on Pakistani ports for its trade. The most widely used port is the Karachi port, which handles all the transportation of goods in and out of Afghanistan through Kabul-Torkham Highway which runs through the famous Khyber Pass.
After the fall of Taliban regime, India is supporting many development projects in Afghanistan. This road project is one among them. But what is interesting is that the political and diplomatically Game behind this project.
Thorough this arrangement, trade will be viable from Afghanistan through this new High way to Iranian port of Chabahar which is situated on the Makran Coast of the Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran. It is officially designated as a Free Trade and Industrial Zone by Iran's government.
Very interesting thing is Chabahar port was developed as a joint venture between Iran and India. India also funded connecting road from the port to afghan city of Zaranj.
According to the MoU signed between India on January 2003, Iran and Afghanistan, Afghan goods will have duty-free access to the Iranian port and the trade from Afghanistan will have to pay no more than what is applied to Iranian traders for using Iranian territory for transit purposes. India is to enjoy similar benefits as Afghanistan at Chabahar port and for transit.
Possible Consequences:
1. Chabahar port would play a major role for trade among Iran, India, Central Asia region (former Soviet Union) and Afghanistan. This is will bypass Pakistan in all trade happening in the region.
2. Afghanistan will not depend only on Pakistan for his trade.
3. The truck route across Khyber Pass will reduce thus the money flow across the valley.
4. The Afghan Government can lower its political and economic dependence on Pakistan.
5. This gives an alternate supply route for War on Terror on which Pakistan had capitalized in recent past.
In short word this can make a way to isolate Pakistan from trade and business.

What is the cost of this road?

Eleven Indian workers and 126 Afghan police and soldiers, who were providing security for the road, were killed during its construction,
That means, for the construction of (every) 1.5 km (1 mile) of road, one human life was sacrificed

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