November 08, 2011

GILGIT BALTISTAN: Natives resist construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam



China, November 07: Pakistan's absurd, illegitimate and anti-people policies on Gilgit-Baltistan continue. On October 18, 2011, Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the construction of a controversial mega-dam project in Gilgit-Baltistan, a region illegally occupied by them. The 12 billion dollar Diamer-Bhasha Dam on River Indus would generate 4,500 megawatt of electricity to meet Pakistan's growing power needs. Unfortunately, the people of Gilgit Baltistan, especially 32 villages in Diamer District, are fear of grave socio-economic and environmental implications by the project. Pakistan has adopted the policy of exploiting the land and resources of Gilgit-Baltistan without benefiting the locals.
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Pakistan’s absurd, illegitimate and anti-people policies on Gilgit-Baltistan continue.

On October 18, 2011, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the construction of a controversial mega-dam project in Gilgit-Baltistan, a region illegally occupied by them. The 12 billion dollar Diamer-Bhasha Dam on River Indus would generate 4,500 megawatt of electricity to meet Pakistan’s growing power needs.

Unfortunately, the people of Gilgit Baltistan, especially 32 villages in Diamer District, are fear of grave socio-economic and environmental implications by the project. Pakistan has adopted the policy of exploiting the land and resources of Gilgit-Baltistan without benefiting the locals.

“ Kashmiri people do not get any benefit from these projects. We sacrifice our homes, our land, our fortune and the graves of our forefathers into the water, and in return we face load shedding. This is unacceptable.” says MUHAMMAD GHAZI LOCAL RESIDENT, MIRPUR, AZAD KASHMIR

With the construction of Bhasha Dam, the large tracts of fertile land in Gilgit-Baltistan will get inundated, making the region more dependent on Pakistan for its food requirements.The farmlands, forest and pastures that are the backbone of the local economy will be inundated.

Over 30,000 people in the nearby villages will turn homeless. And, they have not yet got any rehabilitation and land compensation package.

The construction of the dam will bring in large number of workers from outside, altering the unique ethnic composition of the region.

Given the severity of the situation, natives continued their protest against the project and the entire population of Gilgit-Baltistan stood behind the people of Diamer.

“Around 110 km (60 miles) area of Diamer District, which comes under the territory of Gilgit Baltistan, has been affected because of this project (Bhasha Dam). Thirty one thousand people have been displaced from Diamer district. But, the government failed to hold any talks with the affected people. No government representative has ever tried to understand the problem.” said ANWAR HUSSAIN LEADER, GILGIT-BALTISTAN DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE, GILGIT

" This is an injustice. It’s like an attempt to rob people of their rights. I want to appeal to the entire international community that you should try and understand this matter. The 20-lakh citizen of this region are protesting against this project (Bhasha Dam). So, it's very important to give consideration on this matter. Here the politicians, the journalists and every member of the society are against the construction of (Bhasha) Dam. Why they are against it? There are issues that need to be resolved. Please come and listen to their voices, unless you resolve all the issues, building of this dam would be a major mistake. Pakistan has to pay the price for it. “ ANWAR HUSSAIN LEADER, GILGIT-BALTISTAN DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE, GILGIT

China would help in the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam as its support to Pakistan’s projects in Gilgit-Baltistan is to the tune of 12-15 billion USD.

Pakistan has proven from its policies and strategies that it is not interested in the protection, development and well being of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, but only in exploiting their resources.

It is willing to eliminate an entire race of people who have lived in Gilgit-Baltistan for thousands of years and called it their homeland.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BULLL SHITTTTTTT- You are interviewing Kashimiris- NOt Gilgities-