The shipping pattern which persists in the Central Asia, is expected to change, as the Taliban takes over Afghanistan, concluding the twenty-year long war for power, as U.S. troops withdraws gradually from the landlocked nation.
Afghanistan was working with Iran and India, in developing the much awaited Chabahar Port, in the east of Iran, for almost a decade. This would’ve been presented as an alternative to China-backed Pakistani port developments. With the takeover of power once again by the Taliban (previously in power from 1996 – 2001), the country’s import and exports, are most likely to happen through Karachi, Pakistan.
The interaction of Afghanistan with two of it’s neighbouring countries, Pakistan and China, would be closely watched by Central Asian shipping experts, as the strategic crossroads locations of the country can potentially make Afghanistan an important chain in China’s infamous ‘One Belt, One Road strategy’.
For now, it appears that China is willing to recognize the Taliban in Afghanistan, as friendly relations with the country would provide China with an alternative route to the Indian Ocean, as the two countries share common borders. Also, China indulging in good diplomatic relations with Afghanistan would prove making Pakistan unhappy.
The Taliban terrorists entered the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, over the weekend, as the country’s President, Ashraf Ghani left the country, to an unknown destination.