India, Pak lock horns over dam construction in Pak
Beijing: China on Friday defended its state-run company taking up the contract to build the Diamer-Bhasha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) despite objection from India, saying that it is part of a “win-win” bilateral cooperation to promote the wellbeing of the local population.
On Wednesday, Pakistan government signed a whopping Rs 442 billion (USD 5.8 billion) contract for a joint venture between Chinese state-run firm China Power and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), a commercial arm of Pakistan’s powerful military for the construction of the dam.
India on Thursday took strong note of Pakistan awarding the mega-contract to build the dam in Gilgit-Baltistan, saying carrying out of such projects in territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation was not proper.
China’s position on the issue of Kashmir is consistent. China and Pakistan conduct economic cooperation to promote economic development and improve the wellbeing of the local people,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here.
This is mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, he said.
The two countries are also building the USD 60 billion China- Pakistan Economic Corridor through PoK which connects both the countries. India has also objected to China over the CPEC as it traverses through PaK.
The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi on Thursday said, “Our position is consistent and clear that entire territory of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are and will continue to be integral and inalienable part of India.”
“We have consistently conveyed our protests and shared concerns with both Pakistan and China on all such projects in the Indian territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation,” it said. (PTI)