India opposes Pakistan-China move to build major dam in Gilgit-Baltistan
India on Thursday opposed a move by Pakistan and China to build a major hydropower plant in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, saying it has shared its concerns regarding such projects with both countries.
The Pakistan government on Wednesday signed a Rs 442-billion contract with a joint venture formed by China Power and the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), a commercial arm of the Pakistani military, for constructing the Diamer-Bhasha dam.
The state-run Chinese firm has a 70% stake in the joint venture and FWO 30%. The eight million acre feet reservoir with a height of 272 metres is set to be the world’s tallest roller compact concrete (RCC) dam. Construction work on the dam is expected to begin in a couple of weeks, the Pakistani media reported.
Responding to the development, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the Gilgit-Baltistan region is part of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir that was illegally occupied by Pakistan.
“Our position is consistent and clear that the entire territory of the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are, and will continue to be an integral and inalienable part of India,” Srivastava said.
“We have consistently conveyed our protest and shared concerns with both China and Pakistan on all such projects in the Indian territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation,” he said.
In the past too, India has opposed projects jointly taken up by Pakistan and China in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.