Donors to set aside Indian pressure over Diamer Bhasha dam: PEW

Dated: 2012-08-29

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) has urged multilateral donors to set aside the pressure of India and extend financing for the Diamer Bhasha dam that could prove a source of overcoming energy crisis in Pakistan.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, President Pakistan Economy Watch Dr.Murtaza Mughal said multilateral donors including World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have refused to extend financing for the Diamer Bhasha dam under influence of India but donors must set aside the pressure of India and extend financing for the dam.

He said India had been old rival of Pakistan that was forced to have legal battle with India over building several dams on rivers over which Pakistan had right over Indus.

"The donors should not become part of controversy between two countries over water rights and should extend financing for the strategically important water and power project that would become a backbone of Pakistan’s economy," he added.

“Pakistan is an independent state and Bank should avoid to make polices for our country, it is up to us to decide to prefer Dasu over Bhasha or not,” he said.

He said the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project promises 4,500MW of cheap electricity and 8.5 million acre feet (MAF) of water and the World Bank had offered funding for 4,320MW run-of-the-river Dasu hydropower project instead of Diamer-Bhasha which would be delayed for 10 years as Bank was reluctant so far to provide funds for the $12 billion Diamer-Bhasha project.

He said Pakistan should opt for China to award contract as multilateral donors have backed out and linked the project with Indian’s go ahead.

Dr.Murtaza Mughal further said the country’s priority should be constructed Diamer-Bhasha Dam for which land acquisition process had already started and 13 contracts for offices, colonies and roads have been awarded and Dasu Hydropower Project should follow the initiation of work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam.

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