LAHORE - Former ambassador Javed Hussain has said that Iran and India have been working on Chabahar Port project since many years, and it is premature to say that the project would benefit the world to great extent.

He along with senior analysts Rao Manzar Hayyat and Khalid Mehmood Rasool participated in Waqt News programme ‘Insight’, that was hosted by Salim Bukhari, Editor The Nation.

Hussain said that Chabahar could be beneficial for Gwadar as the Balochistan port is an easier and safer route. He said that Islamabad would have to give importance to its relations with Tehran. There is impression that the US and India are not happy regarding the CPEC project. He said the project is a lifeline for Pakistan and “we should rely on our own resources instead of depending on others.”

To a query, he said the impression, that Afghanistan is a Pakistan’s colony, needed to be undone.

“Islamabad has to play its role for establishing peace in Kabul.”

He said that death of Mullah Mansoor Akhtar would take Taliban away from table talks.

Rao Manzar Hayyat said, “Unfortunately, we could not make Gawadar Port operational. If a Pakistani can run the Singapore port then why we are expecting someone else to do this.”

He said that India would create hurdles as its PM Narendra Modi had termed the CPEC project a threat to the New Delhi’s integrity. He said the project needed to be completed at the earliest and there are some Islamic countries which are also not happy over the project.

He said that Islamabad would have to get rid of non-state actors and convince the world with a clear policy. The killings of Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mansour Akhtar on Pakistani soil have earned nothing but embarrassment for Islamabad.

Khalid Mehmood Rasool said that trade is the only way to get rid of some country’s dominance. Chabahar is a substitute route for Afghanistan for trade. Pakistan has not been enjoying exemplary ties with Afghanistan since many years. He said that Gawadar needed to be made operational at the earliest; otherwise, the CPEC would be nothing but mere a road.

Salim Bukhari said, “We have to take Gwadar project to its logical conclusion and Chabahar could not match Gwadar port in any way.”