Iran has created quite the stir in the Indian diplomatic circles with its foreign minister Javad Zarif on Tuesday offering Pakistan and China participation in its strategic Chabahar port, which India is developing.
The invitation extended to Pakistan by the Iranian foreign minister comes at the back of Indian officials repeatedly stating that the port is of strategic importance to India as it will allow India to bypass Pakistan in accessing Afghanistan and central Asia.
“We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan economic corridor. We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar,” Zarif, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Monday, according to Pakistan daily Dawn.
There was no formal reaction from the Indian side but officials here said that they will wait to hear directly from Iran over the issue. The move may be seen as Zarif's bid to allay concerns here over the Indian involvement in the Iranian port, Dawn online reported.
Also worrying for India was the Pakistan official statement after the meeting between Zarif and his counterpart Khawaja Asif which claimed that the two countries had reiterated support for the “peaceful struggle of the peoples of Palestine and Kashmir for their right to self-determination'’. India is likely to seek a clarification from the Iranians over the issue.