Iran Daily’s correspondent in Pakistan
The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman planned an economic corridor connecting the country with India to the Middle East and Europe. This plan was kept hidden from the media before it was presented.
On the occasion of the G20 summit, India and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding for this economic corridor project. It is not yet clear what the role of China and Pakistan will be in this corridor.
In light of preliminary information, it can be inferred that Pakistan is currently being kept out of this corridor project. However, it will not be possible to ignore Pakistan for long.
According to the Saudi Gazette, the objective of the India-Middle East and Europe Corridor project is to increase economic connectivity, improve and upgrade infrastructure, and promote trade between the participating parties. Addressing an event on the corridor project on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Delhi, MBS said, “I am happy that we are connecting India, the Middle East, and Europe.”
He added that the project is the result of their joint efforts during the last few months. It will increase economic ties and partnerships in the respective countries, while also having a positive impact on the global economy as a whole.
The project will contribute to the improvement and upgrading of infrastructure, including railways, port connectivity, and the delivery of goods and services. This will in turn increase trade between the participating parties. The transmission of energy will also be facilitated within the same corridor, which will start from India and reach Europe through Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and the Balkans.
This multilateral project has a sea route to connect India to Iran, and another land-sea route that will enter Iraq from Indian ports through Chabahar port. After a long delay by Iran, the contract for making berths for anchoring large ships in deep waters in Chabahar port is being given to India once again.
Iran has laid a network of roads and a railway line up to Chabahar, which has been completed to Iraq and connects Saudi Arabia by road. The route from Iran to Turkey and Europe is already paved.
The closest and most profitable land route between India and the Middle East and Europe passes through Pakistan. However, the Indian government of Narendra Modi wants to ignore Pakistan and move forward with the project.
Sources say that before visiting India in 2019, the Saudi Crown Prince advised the Pakistani authorities not to link their disputes with India to economic activities.