Srinagar: Amid tensions between India and China in Ladakh, India has raised objections to Pakistan and China for continuing with their project of constructing the Diamer Bhasha Dam in Gilgit-Baltistan area of Pakistan administered Kashmir.
On July 15, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited and inaugurated the construction work of the mega hydroelectric project. He was accompanied by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Chairman Lieutenant General (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa.
In his speech, Imran Khan said that with this project, his government was going towards building the “biggest dam in Pakistan’s history”.
“This will be our third big dam. China has made around 5,000 big dams, but have a total of about 80,000 dams. From this you can gauge the massive mistakes we have made in the past,” Imran Khan had said.
“The decision to build this dam was taken 50 years ago. There can be no better site for constructing a dam. It is a natural dam. This was decided 40-50 years ago and work on the project has begun today. This is one of the biggest reasons why we haven’t progressed,” he said.
In May, Pakistan signed an agreement with China under which Chinese firm would hold control of 70 per cent stakes in the joint venture, a report published by a Delhi based news organization Indian Today said.
The dam, part of a major hydropower plant, is being built jointly by state-run firm China Power and Pakistan Army’s commercial wing, Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).
In this regard, Indian Ministry of External Affairs had given a sharp reaction in May when this announcement was made as part of China’s CPEC project (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).
On May 14, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said: “Our position is consistent and clear that entire territory of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are and will continue to be integral and inalienable part of India.”
“We have consistently conveyed our protests and shared concerns with both Pakistan and China on all such projects in the Indian territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation,” he had said.
The Chairman of CPEC in Pakistan Asim Saleem Bajwa while sharing a picture of the project on his twitter handle wrote: “Mobilisation for Diamer Bhasha: Historic milestone as PM kicks off mega construction work at Diamer Bhasha Dam today. 6.4 MAF Water reservoir, will add 1.2 M acres for agriculture, 4,500 MW cheaper, greener hydel power, steel/cement/construction boost, 16,000 jobs (sic).”
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