Glasgow [Scotland], April 26 (ANI): An activist from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has lambasted Imran Khan's government for taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation and resuming construction work at the Diamer Bhasa Dam in Gilgit Baltistan.
Amjad Ayub Mirza, who is also an author based in Glasgow, has raised concerns after Islamabad held a review meeting to award the contract for the main dam and allied structures which is due to begin within next few weeks.
He said, "With the onset of the holy month of Ramadan, Pakistan has intensified its plot against the people of Gilgit Baltistan. Now, Imran Khan government is planning to immediately start work on Bhasha Dam, which will ultimately submerge the entire Chilas city. Lakhs of people will go homeless."
Diamer Bhasha Dam project is located on Indus River near Chilas (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan), 315 km u/s from Tarbela Adam and about 40 km downstream of Chilas Town.
The estimated cost of the project is around USD 14 billion and it will have a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 MAF and power generation of 4500 MW.
Mirza said, "Pakistan's intention is to do encroachment in Gilgit Baltistan and merge the area into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa."
"Already, an eight-kilometre stretch in Kohistan has been snatched from Gilgit Baltistan. However, the salaries of Pakistan Rangers personnel deployed there are paid by Gilgit Baltistan. The people of Gilgit Baltistan will never accept the construction of Bhasha Dam," he added.
The people of Gilgit Baltistan, a region under Pakistan's illegal occupation, have protested against the Diamer Bhasha Dam by calling it an attempt to exploit the natural resources.
"It's a project which will not even provide 1 megawatt electricity to Gilgit Baltistan. However the electricity will be distributed to industries in Punjab province," the activist said further. (ANI)