Gilgit-Baltistan:GB legislative assembly rejected K-P’s claim over part of the structure of Diamer-Bhasha Dam

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GILGIT (ET): Existing tensions between Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) have increased over the controversy of the Diamer-Bhasha dam, with both sides claiming rights to the dam.

G-B legislative assembly members rejected K-P’s claim over part of the structure on Tuesday and decided to inform the federal government about “encroachment” through “proper channels”.

“K-P’s claim over some eight kilometres of land in Diamer is baseless and so, is rejected,” the lawmakers decided in an informal meeting chaired by the G-B legislative assembly speaker.

Members of the G-B assembly said that the K-P assembly had recently passed a resolution claiming land in Diamer. According to members, the K-P assembly also demanded equal compensation for the people of Kohistan likely to be affected by the construction of the proposed dam.

Speaker Wazir Baig formed a five-member committee belonging to lawmakers hailing from Diamer district to look into the matter, a lawmaker told The Express Tribune.

The main purpose of taking up the matter with the federal government and discussing it in a formal session of the G-B assembly was to avoid a direct confrontation with the K-P government.

Nationalist leader Nawaz Naji told the meeting in a controversial statement that historically, Kohistan, Shinaki and Chitral were also part of G-B and therefore, G-B could claim rights over these areas as well.

Gilgit-Baltistan:KPK Assembly asked to stop payment to GB

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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakh-tunkhwa Assembly through two unanimous resolutions on Thursday asked the federal government to honour its commitment about the Chasma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) project and stop payment to Gilgit-Baltistan until the resolution of the disputed eight-kilometre area by the boundary commission.

Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain moved the resolution carrying signatures of all the parliamentary leaders that asked Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to increase the funds that he had announced for the CRBC project. Earlier, the Pakistan People s Party-Sherpao lawmaker Israrullah Khan Gandapur said that the CRBC was not only one of the vital projects for the province but also for the entire country.

He recalled the ministers speeches on the floor of the House promising that the arrears of net profits received from hydel power generation would be spent on new hydel-generation schemes but now the amount was being spent on other projects.

The opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani of the JUI-F, PPP s Samiullah Alizai and Abdul Akbar Khan, Saeeda Batol Nasir, ANP s Saqibullah Khan Chamkani and others in their separate speeches said the government could irrigate lakhs of acres of barren land in southern districts that could fulfil the requirements of food, wheat and rice not only for the province, Pakistan, even Afghanistan and Central Asian States.

They said the provincial government should initiate work on this important project from its own resources if the federal government was not releasing funds. They said that the donor countries were willing to fund this profitable project and it would bring a huge profit within a few years after completion. The information minister supported the mover but termed it as a complicated issue. He said this was not as simple as was being portrayed. He pointed out that his province could not utilise its own share of water after signing of the Indus Waters accord in 1991. The forces using our water are making it complicated for achieving their interest, he complained.

Mian Iftikhar said the federal government was still willing to fund the project but was facing some constraints. He said the chief minister, who had refused to secure loans, had later expressed willingness to get a loan for this project.

The minister said the provincial government would initiate work on this project even if it did not get any support from the federal government. He assured the members that the chief minister would invite all parliamentary leaders to discuss this important project, as it was not a political issue.

The House also supported the joint resolution of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPAs Abdul Sattar Khan and Barrister Javed Abbasi asking the federal government to stop payment to the disputed landowners and release the money to pay the real owners hailing from Kohistan district.

The legislators said the Wapda had intentionally made the Bhasha Dam project controversial. They warned the people of Kohistan would come out on roads in protest if their genuine demands were not met.

The House supported the resolutions when the Speaker Kiramatullah Khan put it for a voice vote. The speaker directed ringing of the bill for two minutes when MPA Javed Khan Tarakai pointed to the lack of quorum.

Saqibullah Chamkani s resolution asking the government to send the electricity bills against the consumers in the first week of a month with two weeks time for payment was also passed unanimously.

He said over-billing and payment of the bills in a short time in the banks had created unrest among the government employees and businessmen. He said the consumers had to pay visits to the offices for correction of the bills instead of performing their duties and business. The Speaker prorogued the session sine die.

Courtesy: The News