Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, June 21—June 27, 2008
By Our Correspondent
GILGIT: Terming the Diamer-Basha dam a recipe for disaster in the region, the Gilgit-Balristan Democratic Alliance (GBDA) has called upon the international community to pressure the Pakistani government not to go ahead with the project which was being executed against the wishes of the people of the area.It warned that if the controversial project was not stopped, not only the people of Chilas but those from all parts of Gilgit-Baltistan would rise in revolt. These views were expressed by GBDA central leaders including Ehsan Ali Advocate,Ex Chairman GBDA Mohammad Rafiq, Ali Haider Taj, Burhanullah, Ghufran Battu, Wazir Mohammad Shafi, Muzaffar Ali Advocate and Shafqat Inqilabi while speaking at a press conference here.They said the international status of Gilgit-Baltistan was not like a province or tribal area of Pakistan but a separate state unlike all four provinces and the tribal areas of Pakistan put together. They also expressed the reservations that Pakistan had still not decided whose property the Diamer-Basha dam was; neither there was any guarantee that the royalty of the dam would be given to Gilgit-Baltistan.They said a large number of people of Diamer would have to be separated from their near and dear ones and in return they would be meted out a treatment even worst than that given to the affected people of Turbela dam project who are still living in tents. They said even if the government allays the fears and reservations of the people of the region, who would be responsible and competent authority to enter into an agreement with Islamabad on behalf of the two million people on equal terms. They demanded that the project should be stopped forthwith in order to save the area from sinking otherwise people of Gilgit-Baltistan would take to the streets.