‘Unacceptable’ conditions by China force Pakistan to withdraw dam project from CPEC

Diamer-Bhasha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan was a key part of CPEC

Conditions included taking ownership of the project and providing security

Days after Nepal scrapped its deal with Chinese company, Pakistan has withdrawn a request to include a strategic $14-billion dam project in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) after Beijing proposed strict conditions, including ownership of the project, a senior official has said.

China’s foreign ministry on Thursday deflected questions on the Diamer-Bhasha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan being withdrawn from the CPEC, a key part of the Belt and Road Initiative, saying it had no information about the development.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said the relationship between the two sides is “extensive and profound” and that work on the CPEC is progressing.

Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) chairman Muzammil Hussain told the parliament’s Public Accounts Committee this week that the Chinese conditions for financing the dam were “not doable and against our interests”.

Briefing the parliamentary panel on the status of the much-delayed mega project, he said the Chinese conditions included taking ownership of the project, operation and maintenance costs, and providing security for the Diamer-Bhasha project by pledging another operational dam.

“These conditions were unacceptable. Therefore, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approved a summary to finance the dam from the country’s own resources,” he said.


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