Jan 10, 2011

Gilgit Baltistan: Controversial US Support for Dams

Despite Gilgit Baltistan’s unresolved international status, the US is supporting dam construction in the region to meet Pakistan’s energy needs, which will displace local residents and destroy ancient rock carvings.

Below is an article published by ZeeNews

The US on Thursday [6 January 2011] announced it would provide USD 66 million to Pakistan to complete two dam projects as part of its commitment to help meet the country's energy needs.

Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Frank Ruggiero signed two agreements with Pakistani officials to provide the funding for the Gomal Zam dam in South Waziristan tribal region and Satpara dam at Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The dams will provide over 35 MW of power to nearly 55,000 households.

"Last year's devastating floods demonstrated the need for flood control infrastructure. These two multipurpose dams will control flood waters, provide electricity and store water for irrigation and household use for downstream villages," Ruggiero said.

The US government said it is committed to a long-term partnership with Pakistan and will continue to support projects that benefit the people and bring economic development to "critical areas of the country".