March 2006 News

India Opposes Bhasha Dam, Pak Rejects Objections

8 March 2006
The Nation

New Delhi: India on Wednesday said it opposed a proposal by Pakistan to build a dam in Diamir district of Northern Areas because it would infringe on territory claimed by New Delhi. The foreign ministry said in a statement that India was 'against the proposed construction of Bhasha Dam,' adding that media reports had said it would inundate large parts of northern Kashmir. India and Pakistan are engaged in a slow-moving peace process to settle their dispute over Kashmir. The 6.5-billion-dollar project near the village of Bhasha in Diamir district is slated to be built over seven years, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. The protest comes after Pakistan objected to a dam project currently under construction by India in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Our Islamabad correspondent adds: Pakistan on Wednesday rejected as baseless the Indian demarche regarding the construction of Bhasha Dam, saying that the dam was being constructed within the water resources management policy of Pakistani government. Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam while commenting on the objection raised by India on Bhasha Dam said, Jammu and Kashmir was a disputed territory. She said, 'Its disputed status was established by the United Nations Security Council resolutions 38, 39, 47, 51 (1948) and subsequent resolutions by the United Nations Commission on India and Pakistan.' She said the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir remained unchanged. She added that there were bilateral declarations and agreements between Pakistan and India to find a final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. 'At present the two countries are engaged in Composite Dialogue to address this dispute,' she added. The Spokesperson said Bhasha dam was being constructed for the welfare of the people of the area and within the water resources management policy of the Government of Pakistan.


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