Nimoo Bazgo Dam: FIA chases Shah for ceding ground on Indian dam

Published: January 15, 2012
Former Indus water commissioner has reportedly been granted asylum in Canada.

Former Indus water commissioner has reportedly been granted asylum in Canada.


The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has registered a case against Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, Pakistan’s former Indus water commissioner, for allegedly acting as an agent of India by allowing India to build the Nimoo Bazgo Dam.

According to sources, the FIA and Pakistan’s spy agencies believe Shah acted maliciously to allow India a ‘free hand’ to build the 57-metre high hydropower project in Leh district, which some believe has caused great damage to the water interests of the country.

Meanwhile, Shah has reportedly been granted interim asylum in Canada.  It appears that he moved his family and his assets to Canada after it was established that he would be accused of facilitating India in building the hydropower project.

Sources said that Shah has been declared a proclaimed offender and the FIA has obtained an arrest warrant to contact Interpol.

The 42-metre high Chutak hydroelectric power project is also being completed on the Suru River, a tributary of Indus in the Kargil district of Indian Kashmir.

The ministry has withheld Shah’s pension since an inquiry found that Shah lost the opportunity to take the issue to the court of arbitration and neutral experts, thus allowing India to build the dam freely.

Sources also revealed that the FIA found that Shah presented inaccurate reports. He also reportedly concealed crucial facts at various stages, knowing that, according a previous treaty, if either country completed a dam project then the other country could not build a similar project on the river. It is alleged that Shah received large payments from India for playing this role.

Apparently Shah left the country immediately after retiring, first arriving in the US before shifting to Canda. The FIA has started to trace his bank accounts in Pakistan and abroad.

The FIA’s case is also based on reports from the ISI and Military Intelligence. In addition there is a report from Mohammad Imtiaz Tajwar, Secretary of Wapda, which stated that Shah did not play his due role and remained silent about the Nimoo Bazgo project and did not raise any objections during the Pak-India meetings at the Permanent Indus Commission.

The said projects will reduce the flows of water along the Indus River, and can store water up to 120,000,000 cubic metres.

The water and power ministry had earlier initiated a probe as to how India managed to construct the two projects, particularly Nimoo Bazgo, and why the Permanent Indus Commission failed to take proper measures under the Indus Waters Treaty to stop its construction.

The most alarming aspect of the report is that the commission team never visited the project before and during the construction period of the project.

The source claimed that India had informed Shah about the Nimoo Bazgo project six months before the initiation of its construction. At that time, Shah had objected to the design of the project as being against the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty.

The commission, headed by Shah, also reportedly remained silent throughout 2007, 2008 and 2009 about the project. Surprisingly, it started pursuing the project vigorously at all levels when it was known that it would be impossible to change the design of the project after its completion. By that time it was too late for any court or neutral expert to give decision against the project.

Meanwhile, water expert Arshad Abbasi of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute claims he pointed out that Shah did not visit the site of the Nimoo-Bazgo by writing several letters to the prime minister.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • abdul jabbar
    Jan 15, 2012 - 10:56AM

    what was our media doing when shah was betraying his country? all the tv channels screaming about corruption of this minister and that minister,no reporter did the hard work of reporting this story b4 shah did the damage.why was shah allowed to leave pakistan?


  • Vigilant
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:07AM

    Pathetic……….Arrest him & Hang him for treason


  • Raza
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:08AM

    It is a joke to put blame only on Jamaat Ali Shah for the criminal act, where were other high officials including Secretary Power and water, who is the ultimate boss in this case. If the system is so fragile that an individual can damage to such a larger extent then it could be gauge that how much the country is in safe hands.


  • Hamid
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:13AM

    If he is guilty. he should be hanged.


  • NA
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:16AM

    We are very unfortunate that we hand over our strategic decisions power to one man and always lose country’s interests. Water Commission should have been consisted of field experts from various departments to reduce such incidents. There is no mistake of India, they acted in their benefit.


  • HoneyBee
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:20AM

    where is PCO SC . . .?


  • Usman786
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:22AM

    does the last para means, PM is also supporting? with/ w/o fee?


  • Attif Abbas
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:28AM

    He acted alone is a strange thing,usually there is a hierarchy in organizations,People still there know everything.There is no mention of other employs of the department involved.
    His name was on exit control list, how he went to Canada.FIA doesn’t know anything obviously about it.


  • imran
    Jan 15, 2012 - 12:45PM

    why our agencies did’t bother to check it whn all this was happeng. nw dam has been established and no one can order to demolish a project for the people welfare. and now, jamaat ali shah, is also out of country. and it will not be easy to revert him back from canada and put a trial on him.
    it is difficult to digest that whnp all this was gng to happend, no 1 from water/wapda ministry took notice of it and it took then what all factors were those stopd the actions?


  • John B
    Jan 15, 2012 - 12:53PM

    Need a scape goat for the fiasco. Simple check on google map would have showed about the constructions, if it was truly against the treaty obligation. Shah is not the only person in the indus water commission on PAK side.

    As usual PAK will allege that evidence will be disclosed in due time, as in RAW/CIA role in Baluchistan.

    The indus water treaty always show up during elections in PAK and never panned out truth when examined by others, Musharaff was in charge of the government and he also left PAK soon after retirement.

    The truth is, Indus water treaty is well examined by other countries as well in their treaty models and it was one of the best treaties, generously given to PAK by Nehru despite local opposition. Recommend

  • Ash
    Jan 15, 2012 - 1:01PM

    Are you using Hoover dam picture to show other dam. Lol funny.


  • narasaraopet
    Jan 15, 2012 - 1:50PM

    Instead of discussing Indian occupied or POK blaming each other for everything under the sun, the two neighbours should discuss what benifits the people on both sides of Kasmir.


  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 15, 2012 - 4:13PM

    Editor ET: Where is my comment?


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Jan 15, 2012 - 4:30PM

    The fact is that the dam beside generating electric will be helpful in regulating the flow of water in down stream . If Pakistan will have good relation with India then there will be no flood in Pakistan otherwise it will be washed away .


  • John
    Jan 15, 2012 - 5:18PM

    The hard truth is that Pakistan has been wasting water year after year and India has been putting its efforts in building reservoirs and dams. We should be thankful to India for saving this precious resource as we are only good in talking and can’t take any action on ground.


  • Raj - USA
    Jan 15, 2012 - 8:03PM

    It is such a stupidity that Pakistan keeps on complaining about water shortage and water theft by India when large areas of Pakistan are already flooded. Has everyone become so foolish when they complain of water shortage whilst, at the same time, staring at the flooded areas? Has Pakistan ever approached the international community for aid to tackle water shortage? No. It has approached the International community repeatedly for assistance in floods only. The next monsoon season flooding is just a few months away. Had India not built these dams, the two earlier floods in the last two years would have caused much more damage to Pakistan. Instead of building KBD on its side, Pakistan keeps on wasting water that is already in its side. Pakistan is not only wasting water by draining fresh water to the sea, but is also causing destruction on its side due to floods. This is a classic example of why Pakistan keeps on loosing credibility which could only lead to the international community ignoring Pakistan in the future, even if they have a genuine complaint. Pakistan should first build the dams on its side. Also, keep in mind that such disputes have already started with Afghanistan also and Pakistan has little leverage there as there is no water sharing treaty between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The simple truth is that if Pakistan does not manage water resources efficiently within its territories and keeps wasting water, no one will listen to them. So, leave aside the political and regional differences and start building KBD.


  • Vigilant
    Jan 15, 2012 - 9:14PM

    @Raj – USA:
    If you have alot of money & you are wasting it on your luxuries……..would you allow robbers or thieves to take it away because you wasting it……..

    Westren rivers & it’s tributaries are for Pakistan under an international agreement……india cannot store or divert their water but can use them for electricity generation without changing their downstream flow……


  • Vigilant
    Jan 15, 2012 - 9:17PM

    Are you Phd doctor in Water resources(Hydrology) or Civil Engineering?


  • Raj - USA
    Jan 15, 2012 - 10:15PM


    agree with you that others cannot steel your wealth. However, your argument is also very similar to that Sindh is using against Punjab on the construction of KBD. I would add, you missed my point totally. My point is that if India, Pakistan and Afghanistan can work together and manage the water resources efficiently, it would serve them for the future times and also avoid the damages of that are now being caused due to flooding, lack of electricity, loss of economic opportunities, etc. Blaming India that it is funding support to oppose KBD would not do Pakistan any good. If funds are lacking, use China to construct and fund KBD as all feasibility and environmental reports favor construction of KBD *

  • Rt. Rev. Wrong
    Jan 15, 2012 - 10:28PM

    Are you Phd doctor in Water resources(Hydrology) or Civil Engineering?

    He has Ph.D in BSology.
    India and Pakistan have embarked on a mission to kill all their rivers. Our rivers are damned!
    This is vandalism in name of progress, where only international firms and contractors benefit at the expense of future generations of the Sub Continent.
    India and Pakistan are on joint suicide mission to kill their future generations.
    You are doing a superb jobs folks. Keep it up!


  • Rt. Rev. Wrong
    Jan 15, 2012 - 10:33PM

    @Ash: “Are you using Hoover dam picture to show other dam. Lol funny.”

    Yes it is. It’s sad not funny.Recommend

  • Hafeez
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:53PM

    @Raj-USA, what do you think Indus water treaty is? It is supposed to be the treaty for Pakistan and India to work together on water issues.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:25AM

    Exactly. Both countries should work together for the common good. Not only that, but the provinces within the country should also work together for the common good. India also has the problem within its states on Dam construction, such as, dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Such disputes does not benefit anyone. Although I am not a scientist or hydrologist or an expert, I think that storing fresh water would have a positive effect on the development of ecological system and the fresh water stored today would be a security for tomorrow. I strongly advocate building KBD, even with assistance from China, if required.


  • Javed
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:27AM

    @Dr.A.K.Tewari: B.S. who gave India the right in “regulating the flow of water”. This is against Indus water treaty, plain and simple.


  • General
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:43AM

    What nonsense – Jamaat Ali’s brother has lived in Toronto since late 1970s and his children emigrated there in the mid 1990s – this article is base almost completely on false news!


  • Khan Bhai
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:48AM

    How was he able to get a US visa? And why wasn’t anyone keeping track of this guy?

    @John: Do you snatch money from people on the road because you think they are not spending it properly? No you don’t because its not for you to decide that. Likewise, it is not for YOU or INDIA to decide what we do with OUR share of the water, this is against the Indus Waters Treaty.


  • Singh
    Jan 17, 2012 - 7:26AM

    E.T it is Hoover dam picture. Most people don’t know Indus water treaty & they commenting on it. Let GOP hire some educated people to study it first then make some noise in international community. Recommend

  • Jan 17, 2012 - 10:02AM

    M.C. Unfortunately for you the very same “Indus water treaty” documentation if you go by the meaning, would not be violated at all!!!


  • wise counsel.
    Jan 18, 2012 - 12:43AM

    and how can u generate elctiricty..?you dont need a dam for that?Please give me the details.


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