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Pakistan PM inaugurates Neelum-Jhelum dam in PoK, rakes up Kashmir issue

Abbasi also called the 969-MW venture a “symbol of Pakistan-China friendship”.

world Updated: Apr 13, 2018 22:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan,Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi,Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project
An aerial view of the Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project.(Courtesy: Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority)

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the first unit of the Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Friday, describing the 969-MW venture as a symbol of Pakistan-China friendship.

The first unit will produce 242 MW of electricity, and Abbasi told a ceremony in Muzaffarabad that the two other units of the project will be completed within two months, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

Abbasi also used the occasion to rake up the Kashmir issue, contending that alleged rights violations by Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir should be seen as challenge for the world’s conscience. He asked the world community to play its role to end rights violations in Kashmir.

He also reiterated Pakistan’s “moral, political and diplomatic support” to the Kashmiri people. “Pakistan has fought for the rights of Kashmir at every forum for the past 70 years,” he added.

A Chinese consortium comprising construction giant China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) was awarded a 21 billion yuan contract for building the project in 2007.

The project is expected to generate 5.15 billion units of electricity a year and annual revenues of about Rs 55 billion. Some 4,500 people will be employed by the project.

Abbasi said his government faced several technical and financial challenges in executing the project but these were overcome.

The Indus Waters Treaty provides India with access to the eastern Beas, Ravi and Sutlej rivers, while Pakistan has access to the western Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers. Pakistan launched the Neelum-Jhelum project on the Neelum, a tributary of the Jhelum, to counter the competing Kishanganga project in Jammu and Kashmir.

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 22:12 IST