ISLAMABAD (News): India has asked Pakistan to get no objection certificates (NoCs) from New Delhi for building all the hydropower projects being completed in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and AJK involving funding of international donor agencies.
India has also asked Pakistan to provide detailed information about all hydropower projects being built in Gilgit-Baltistan with the funding of these international donors.
This has been communicated to Pakistan in the latest correspondence in which India has again declared Gilgit-Baltistan as its integral part.
The World Bank currently believed to be under the influence of the Indians who occupy top slots, has already refused the funding for the most strategic project of the Diamer-Bhasha dam linking it with an NoC from India.
The most revealing and perturbing disclosure is that this is the same bank that has leaked the information to New Delhi that Pakistan is building hydropower projects in Shebratan and Chilas in Gilgit-Baltistan, the correspondence reveals.
In a letter of the Foreign Affairs Director General South Asia of the Foreign Ministry written on November 28, 2012 to the Ministry of Water and Power, of which a copy is available with The News, it has been revealed that India has sought detailed information about the hydropower projects being built in Gilgit-Baltistan as New Delhi is of the view that Pakistan needs its NoCs for building all kinds of hydropower projects in Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK as the said areas are ‘integral parts of India’.
However, the letter’s excerpt shows that the Pakistan high commissioner in New Delhi has rejected the Indian assertions about Gilgit-Baltistan being an integral part of India. The Pakistan high commissioner, however, asked the authorities in Islamabad to provide information about the projects and the donor agencies from which assistance has been sought.
The high commissioner of Pakistan, according to the letter, has recommended to the Ministry of Water and Power to discourage donor agencies from seeking India’s concurrence for projects in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The letter written by Zehra Akbari, DG South Asia in Foreign Affairs, to Nargis Sethi, the then Secretary of Water and Power, on November 28, 2012 says: “Our high commissioner in New Delhi has conveyed vide his telegram of 23 November 2012 that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has made a verbal demarche to protest Pakistan’s plans to build hydel power projects at Shebratan and Chilas in Gilgit-Baltistan and also to seek donors’ assistance for these projects. They had learned about these projects from the World Bank. Indians said that the area was an integral part of India. Our high commissioner rejected the Indian assertions about Gilgit-Baltistan being integral part of India. The high commissioner has requested information about the projects and the donor agencies from which assistance has been sought. The India high commission has also recommended that the concerned ministry should discourage donor agencies from seeking India’s NoC for the projects in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.”