While the agreements explicitly mentioned improvements in Afghanistan`s connection to the world as an advantage for Indian investments in the region, Afghanistan`s political instability could limit the potential benefits of transit corridors to population centers near Kabul or Kandahar, given that these routes run through southern and eastern Afghanistan, where the Taliban are most active.  The Chabahar plan is based on links to the Afghan ring road.  Until August 2016, it was found that the Taliban conquered large areas of Helmand province and threatened to take the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, located on the part of the Afghan ring road linking Chabahar to Kandahar and Kabul. As a result, parts of the Afghan ring road have been closed due to Taliban activities.  In August 2016, the Taliban also claimed responsibility for an attack that killed twelve foreign tourists while traveling on an alternative route to the Afghan ring road between Kabul and Herat.  In September 2016, during a meeting with Nawaz Sharif, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed his country`s interest in joining the CPEC.  It stated that Pakistan and China had agreed to make the Declaration of Intent on Industrial Cooperation a framework agreement focused on the development of SWZ and B2B joint ventures as essential elements of industrial cooperation under CPEC. Serious efforts are underway to provide gas and electricity to ensure that these basic services are made available in areas, she said. As part of the agreement, India Ports Global will renovate a 640-meter-long container handling facility and rebuild a 600-meter-long dock in the port.
 India also agreed to extend a $400 million line of credit for the import of steel for the construction of a rail link between Chabahar and Zahedan, while India signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction and financing of the Chabahar railway line in Zahedan for $1.6 billion.  In a speech Tuesday at a consultative forum on the draft framework agreement on industrial cooperation, Board Chair Atif R. Bokhari said the first phase of CPEC requires a leading role from the government, while the second phase requires a 180-degree change in management and role. The first infrastructure works in the Port of Gwadar began in 2002 and were completed in 2007, but plans to modernise and extend the Port of Gwadar have stopped. Under the CPEC agreement, the port of Gwadar will first be expanded and modernized to allow the berthing of ships with a capacity of up to 70,000.  Improvement plans include the construction of a $130 million breakwater around the port, as well as the construction of a floating liquefied natural gas plant, with a capacity of 500 million cubic feet of liquefied natural gas per day and connected to the Gwadar-Nawabshah segment of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.  The framework is developed with particular attention to improve Pakistan`s industrial competitiveness, ensure technology transfer and relocate Chinese enterprises as well as skills development and labour productivity. . . .