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China Throws Weight Behind Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Rubbishes Indian Objections

BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian has Saturday rubbished Indian objections on the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam in the Gilgit-Baltistan region and said that the dam will be beneficial for the two all-weather friends, Pakistan and China.

During a briefing in Beijing, Lijian said that the dam was going to be beneficial for the two friends and strategic partners. He also added that it was primarily aimed at the development and well-being of the local population of the region.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the ‘immediate start of construction’ of the dam earlier this week. The dam is expected to generate 4500-megawatt electricity and will be completed at a cost of approximately USD 15 billion. The project has been awarded to China’s Power China and Pakistan’s Frontier Works Organisation in a joint venture.

India had objected on the grounds that Gilgit-Baltistan was a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Rejecting the objection, Zhao said that China’s position on Kashmir had always been consistent.

The spokesperson also praised Pakistan for its moral and material support for China in the fight against the deadly Coronavirus outbreak. He also praised Pakistan Senate’s resolution thanking President Xi Jinping and the Chinese nation for its support provided to Pakistan in the fight against COVID-19.

“Since the start of the outbreak, China and Pakistan have supported and worked closely with each other to jointly fight the virus. We will never forget that”, Zhao told reporters.

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Naya Daur