NEW DELHI (Times of India) - The Taliban have have approached Iran for help to restart the export of fresh and dry fruits, a major revenue earner, to India via the Chabahar route.
Tehran has agreed to evaluate Taliban’s proposals for the transportation of Afghanistan’s trade cargoes and export of fresh and dried fruits to India via the Chabahar route, Iran’s Tasnim news agency said.
The Taliban submitted the detailed plan last week when representatives of both countries signed a comprehensive trade agreement. Iran and the Taliban have agreed to maintain round-the-clock operation at the Islam Qala-Dogarun border crossing and take practical measures to improve and develop the land routes at the border crossing.
In principle, Iran has agreed to allow Afghan traders to export fresh and dried fruits to India via Dogarun-Chabahar route which was closed after Taliban’s capture of Afghanistan.
This year, exporters have to exclusively rely on land routes to ship their products as there are no air cargo flights available yet. Most of the Afghan traders have been using this route to Afghanistan through the 7200-km long International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which passes through neighboring Iran. Cargoes are then shipped from Chabahar port, Iran to western ports such as Mumbai. But that route was closed in July by Iran citing security concerns.
After the Taliban came to power, they banned the export and imports to India. But now, under enormous economic pressure, the new regime has decided to rethink its stance. India imports around 85 per cent of its dry fruits from the war-torn country.