Gilgit-Baltistan: Federal Government Summons CMs of GB & KPK over Boundary Issue

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Gilgit (ET:As Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) continue to clash over the Diamer-Bhasha dam boundary, the federal government has summoned the chief ministers of both regions to Islamabad in order to work out a solution to the dispute, sources revealed on Monday.

“The chief ministers of both regions have been summoned to Islamabad for a meeting with the prime minister,” an official in the G-B Assembly said.

The K-P government had written a letter last year to the prime minister, asking him to help ‘K-P get its right’ over the 4,500-megawatt dam.

Anticipating a tough stance from G-B, the K-P government has done its homework before presenting its case at the meeting due next week, sources said. K-P has a claim over about eight kilometres of land near the Diamer-Bhasha dam which is being built on Indus River, about  300 kilometres upstream of Tarbela dam and about 40 kilometres downstream of Chilas Town, the headquarters of G-B’s Diamer district.

The federal government has asked the K-P government not to take the issue to the Supreme Court, and to instead find an out-of-court solution to the issue.

The situation turned serious after the K-P Assembly passed a resolution last year, claiming that eight kilometres of land on the right side of the dam was part of K-P. The move infuriated the G-B government, which constituted a committee including all sitting lawmakers from Diamer valley. The committee, however, traced documents signed between the representatives of Kohistan and Diamer during 1947, which had declared the land part of Diamer. The G-B Assembly later passed a unanimous resolution, rejecting K-P’s claim.

Likewise, the K-P government refers the issue to the 1955 Boundary Commission report which suggests that eight kilometres of land near the dam is part of K-P. In other words, if K-P’s claim is accepted, it will get 50% of the royalty.

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