GILGIT: 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.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2011.