China late on Friday deported the lone Indian arrested on unspecified charges in Inner Mongolia, bringing to an end 72 hours of hard negotiations between Indian diplomats and local officials who caught him with 19 other foreigners for allegedly watching banned videos. The fate of the remaining three South African citizens remains unknown. RK Kulshreshta was put up on a late flight on Friday night with Indian officials escorting from the city of Ordos in Inner Mongolia in northern China. The charges against 46-year-old Kulshrehta, a garment businessman, remain unspecified. “We are still trying to find out what the charges are against him,” an Indian official claimed. The focus was to get him released, officials said. The Indian embassy here released a statement announcing the decision by the Chinese government. “The Indian national who was detained in Inner Mongolia was brought to Beijing last evening and was allowed to leave for India by a flight in early hours of this morning, the statement said. It added: “The Embassy of India was in close touch with the concerned authorities in Beijing and Inner Mongolia, and facilitated the release and repatriation of the Indian national. Counsellor (Consular) and other Embassy officials were also given consular access to him. Embassy officials were at the airport at the time of departure.” On Friday evening, China had released five Britons including two who had dual South African citizenship. “The Chinese authorities have said that the remaining three British nationals and the two dual nationals detained in Ordos will be deported shortly,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has asked India to invest in infrastructure projects worth $8 billion, including an expanded role in developing a strategic port that will open up access to Central Asia, according to Iran’s envoy to New Delhi on Friday.
The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is central to India’s efforts to circumvent arch-rival Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests.
Rouhani suggested the larger role for India during a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a summit in Russia days before the historic nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Iran’s ambassador to India told Reuters.
“The potential between Iran and India is great but we were just facing such a wall of sanctions, wall of American pressure,” ambassador Gholam Reza Ansari said.
Ansari said that with sanctions likely to be lifted soon, it was a “golden time” for India to seize investment opportunities because of the two countries’ close trade ties and shared interest in improving central Asian transport links.
“Connectivity is the main policy of Modi that coincides with Iran’s government policy,” Ansari said. “We have offered them, in connectivy, $8 billion of projects.”
Modi’s meeting with Rouhani was part of a tour of Central Asia focused on increasing India’s role in the region.
It was not immediately clear how Modi responded to Rouhani’s offer.
India’s foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment.Iran and six world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, clearing the way for an easing of sanctions on Tehran.
India and Iran agreed in 2003 to develop Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran’s border with Pakistan, but the venture has moved slowly because of the sanctions over Iran’s atomic programme.
The two countries maintained a close relationship despite the US-led trade restrictions that halved their oil trade to 220,000 barrels per day last year.
In May, India’s Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and his Iranian counterpart, Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi, signed an $85 million deal for India to lease two existing berths at the port and use them as multi-purpose cargo terminals.
Under the new proposal India could help build second and third terminals at the port, as well as railway connections into the rest of Iran, Ansari said.
India has moved slowly on opportunities in Iran in the past, including the giant Farzad B gas field. Ansari said India was the “first priority” to develop Farzad B, but urged New Delhi to move fast: “If they drag their feet, the market will not wait.”