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India condemns Pakistan’s decision to construct dam on Indus river in Gilgit-Baltistan

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India has condemned Islamabad’s decision to construct the Diamer Basha dam on the Indus river in Chilas in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir saying it will submerge large parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

“India strongly protested against the construction of Diamer Basha dam to Pakistan govt. It will lead to submergence of large part of land of Indian UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. We condemn attempts by Pak to bring about material changes in Indian territories under its illegal occupation,” Anurag Srivastava, official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Thursday.

“We have also consistently conveyed our protest and shared concerns with both China and Pakistan on all such projects in Indian territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation where it has no locus standi,” Srivastava said at a briefing.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam on Wednesday, despite India’s objection to the huge China-backed project.

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Khan said the Diamer-Bhasha will be Pakistan’s third-largest dam and will generate 4,500 MW of electricity and provide at least 16,000 jobs. The project expected to be completed by 2028.

In May, the Pakistan government signed a Rs 442 billion contract with a joint venture of a Chinese state-run firm and a commercial arm of Pakistan’s powerful military for the construction of the dam.

India had then said that carrying out such projects in territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation was not proper.

In 2016, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had refused to commit funds for the dam project, two years after the World Bank declined to fund the project following Islamabad’s refusal to seek a no-objection certificate from India.

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