Diamer-Bhasha Dam to boost trade, says Imran Khan

Declares the dam first as largest and later third-biggest in Pakistan: Again mentions 12 seasons

By: News Desk      Published: 04:10 PM, 15 Jul, 2020
Diamer-Bhasha Dam to boost trade, says Imran Khan

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said wrong decisions based upon short-term objectives had hampered national development.

Addressing a gathering in Chilas after visiting the construction site of Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Imran said only those nations had progressed in the world, which focused on rule of law, made tough decisions and invested in the people.

About the Diamer-Bhasha Dam, he said the project would create job opportunities in Gilgit-Baltistan and boost trade in the country.

The decisions taken in the past were short-term, said the prime minister as he mentioned his government’s plan to plant 10 million trees in the country.

However, Imran again fumbled during his speech as he again spoke of his much-repeated assertion about 12 seasons [in the country] – a statement which he didn’t bother to correct.

At first, he also declared the Diamer-Bhasha Dam as the biggest in the country but later listed it as the third-largest.

Earlier, he reached the Diamer-Bhasha Dam site where he was briefed on the project. Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa, ISI Director General Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed and CPEC Authority Chairman Asif Saleem Bajwa were also present among others on the occasion.

During his address, the prime minister said attention had not been paid on developing water reservoirs in Pakistan, unlike China where, he added, there were around 5,000 large dams.

He criticised the policy of power generation through imported fossil fuel and said the environment had been damaged in the process. It also caused current account deficit as precious dollars were sent abroad for imports, Imran added.

The prime minister promised to build more dams, which, he said, will lessen pressure on foreign exchange and allow Pakistan to generate its own energy. "The benefits are dual. We won't have to import fuel and it won't affect our climate negatively," Imran maintained.

Imran said wrong decisions taken by the past governments led to environmental deterioration and decline in industrial progress.

"When our govt took over we had a deficit of over $20 billion due to these decisions of the past governments," he told the gathering, adding the less developed areas of the country cannot be ignored any further.

The prime minister said it was a historic decision to construct the project. "The site is naturally well-suited for building the dam because it has natural rocks. It took us almost 40 years to implement our decision. You can figure out what a huge mistake we have made by not thinking to construct dams for the storage of water."

Speaking regarding the benefits of the project, PM Imran said that it will not adversely impact the climate and create more job opportunities. "China has constructed 5,000 huge dams. Overall they have 80,000 dams and this will be our third biggest dam," said Imran.

Earlier, Asim Saleem Bajwa said that start of construction work at Diamer Bhasha Dam is a historic milestone.

In a tweet, Asim Bajwa said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will kick off construction work. He added that the reservoir of 6.4 MAF will add 1.2 million acres of land for agriculture.

Chairman CPEC Authority further revealed that the project will provide a boost to steel, cement and construction industry and 4500MW of cheap electricity while creating 16,000 jobs.