Afghanistan and Pakistan have signed a key trade agreement which will allow Afghanistan to use land routes through Pakistan to carry goods to India and, in turn, allow Pakistan access to Central Asian destinations through Afghan land routes.
The deal will also allow landlocked Afghanistan access to Pakistani sea ports.
The new Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) will allow Afghan trucks to carry export goods to the Wagah border post in India for onward carriage to other destinations.
There is no reciprocity in this for India as Indian goods destined for Afghanistan will not be allowed to transit through land routes in Pakistan.
The agreement would also please the Americans particularly as a major 135-mile road connecting Afghanistan's Nimroz province with the Iranian port of Chahbahar was completed by India just last year. The connection not only allowed Afghanistan to break Pakistan's stranglehold over it but also allowed Iran to become even more deeply entrenched in the affairs of this land-locked nation.
The new agreement with Pakistan would accordingly come as a source of some satisfaction to the Americans, desperate to isolate Iran in this part of the world.