May 28, 2009

Gilgit Baltistan: Pakistani Government Building Illegal Dams

Active ImageThe Pakistani government's plans for three mega dams in the disputed area of Gilgit-Baltistan could potentially displace 410,000 people.



Below is a statement issues by the Balawaristan National Front :

Gilgit Baltistan is a disputed part of Jammu & Kashmir according to the UNCIP resolutions of 13th Aug. 1948 and 5th Jan 1949. Pakistan has to withdraw all its troops and civilians from its occupied Jammu & Kashmiri region including Gilgit Baltistan according to 28th April 1949 Truce Terms of UNCIP. Instead of withdrawing its troops and civilian Pakistan is planning to build 5 Mega Dams on this disputed land by violating UNCIP resolutions.

Bhasha Diamar Mega Dam’s reservoir, located in Diamer (disputed Territory), would submerge 110 kilometres of the Karakoram Highway and around 80,000 people would be displaced initially. After extension of this dam about 300,000 local indigenous people will be displaced and about 200 KM area up to Gilgit town will be submerged. This will destroy the oldest Buddha civilization besides other ancient cultural artefacts.


Pakistan also plans to build a mega dam in Skardu which means that the lives of 200,000 people of this disputed area will be impacted and will be forced to re-locate. The 650 feet high Skardu Dam (disputed Territory), will submerge not only Skardu city along with its historical and secret religious places and forts but minerals and ancient houses of whole Baltistan including Kharmang, Shigar, Khapolu as well. Furthermore, many places of Rundo will vanish forever.

Pakistan is also building a third Dam in Bonji (disputed Territory),  on the Indus river without consulting the people, who have no representation anywhere. Great loss  to our environment, wild life, minerals both semi and precious stones worth billions, is expected. The number of people that will be displaced by the building of the dams is as follows: 80,000 in Diamar as a result of the Bhasha Dam, 300,000 due to the Skardu dam and about 30,000 for the Bunji dam.

We the 2 million people of Balawaristan (Pakistan Occupied Gilgit Baltistan) appeal to the World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank and all the financial and donor agencies and countries including China not to provide fund/Loan/aid, technical assistance  and technology etc to Pakistan for the construction of Mega dams like Bhasha Diamar Dam, Bonji Dam, Hanzel Dam, Skardu Dam and Khapolu Baltistan dam on disputed land.