Imran Khan, Inaugurates Diamer Bhasha Dam Construction In PoK by China
India has raised objections to Pakistan and China continuing with their project of constructing the Diamer Bhasha Dam in the disputed area of Gilgit-Baltistan, in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK)
According to reports, on Wednesday, 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 Asim Saleem Bajwa (Retd).
In his speech, Imran Khan said with this project, his government was going towards building the “biggest dam in Pakistan’s history”. He forgot to mention that Pakistan has a history of just 73 years and that Gilgit Baltistan is part of India, which India has vowed to take back at the earliest.
“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 said.
The project has seen four inaugurations by four Pakistani prime ministers in four decades. However, with China’s entry, the project might move forward, but Pakistan has already lost control of an important resource-generating project, albeit in an illegally occupied territory.
“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 India, government sources said, “India’s position on any project in PoK remains unchanged. The entire territory of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral and inalienable part of India. India has always protested such activities in PoK with both China and Pakistan.”
This is not the first time that the inauguration of the project was announced since the first time it was conceived 40 years ago.
In May, Pakistan signed an agreement with China under which Chinese firm would hold control of 70 per cent stakes in the joint venture.
The dam, part of a major hydro power plan, is being built jointly by state-run firm China Power and Pakistan Army’s commercial wing, Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).
The 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), which in the larger context is part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“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,” MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said on May 14 during a press briefing.
“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 was once the spokesperson of the ISI in the Pakistan Army. In a tweet Asim Bajwa said, “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).”