As the $14 billion strategically important Diamer Bhasha Dam remains stuck due to reluctance of international financiers, Pakistan has again requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to release funds for the much-delayed project.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar made the request in a meeting with ADB’s Country Director Werner Liepach here on Saturday.
Dar said the new government was working on various initiatives to jump-start the economy and “looks forward to ADB’s assistance for the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam”, according to an official handout released by the Ministry of Finance.
Liepach was said to be supportive of the project and said the ADB was willing to work with Pakistan in designing a “workable model for the implementation of the project”.
An earlier move by the ADB to bring the World Bank on board for co-financing the project backfired when the WB insisted that the ADB first seek a no-objection certificate from India – a condition that has delayed the project. Delhi believes that the project site is in a disputed territory.
The ADB has taken a lot of flak after asking for Indian NOC at the eleventh hour when Pakistan had already met agreed prerequisites. The ADB wanted the WB to provide $2.5 billion to match its financing.
Compared to initial estimates of $11.2 billion, the revised cost of Diamer Bhasha Dam is touching $14 billion and construction work is yet to start. Lately, Japan has come forward with a $4 billion package for purchase of machinery, but still the lead financier is missing.
Liepach said the Manila-based lending agency was ready to work with international financial institutions and the government of Pakistan on energy, transport and infrastructure projects.
ADB’s Director General for West-Asia Department Klaus Gerhaensser is also coming to Pakistan next week to interact with the new government. The visit is aimed at understanding the policies and plans so that the ADB can prioritise its projects and programmes in line with the requirements of the government.
The ADB was in the process of reviewing Pakistan’s annual portfolio and the business operation plans.
It was not clear whether the government would also take up Diamer Bhasha financing issue with Gerhaensser.
Liepach reaffirmed that the ADB was keen to work closely with Pakistan in its efforts to reinvigorate the economy. The bank was already extending technical, advisory and financial support to the government in translating its plans and concepts into financially viable projects and their efficient execution.
During the meeting, both sides held in-depth discussions on the policies and measures being taken by the government to steer the economy out of its present challenges and place it on the road to growth and development.
Liepach expressed the hope that Pakistan would increase its share in projects, thus the ADB could assist in participating in a larger number of projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2013.
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"Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It's a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted it. Roy alleged that India became "colonizing power" soon after its independence from British rule. Arundhati Roy shared the stage with Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at the convention on 'Azadi--The Only Way', among others in Delhi on Thursday".
Wish Indian people has the conscience and the courage to put human rights ahead of belligerence.
Arey we dont depend on aid from ADB or any other banks to build our dams. We do it with our OWN money. Something Pakistan cant. So you need our NOC for borrowing from external agencies while we dont need any NOC. Samaj raha kya ?
@Muhammad Mudassar: "Well then why not india get NOC from Pakistan while building dams in Indian Occupied Kashmir ?" +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ India uses its own resources to build the dams and issues its own NOCs to itself. Pakistan too can follow that option:).But if you go to International Financial Institutions......
Interesting to see so much of Indian interest on ET articles. Can someone explain that without resorting to a conspiracy theory??
Well then why not india get NOC from Pakistan while building dams in Indian Occupied Kashmir ? you people finish your home problems and let us do our ? our history you know we ruled Sub-continent nearly 1000 years ? Sandip you talk of rights of kashmiri people the you are providing them the chance to live free and talking of water ?
As per the Indus Water treaty signed by Delhi, India acknowledges Pakistan's right to build dams and reservoirs and obtain foreign funding for the same in Kashmir. India is playing dirty policies and sheer might to block international funding. It has no basis in law or principle.
@nasser: Actually a stronger reason exists beyond just Indian or Pakistani claims to Jammu and Kashmir. And that is the importance of the water to Kashmir itself. The people of Kashmir have the first right to the usage of water before anyone else. Hence all treaties aside, the water must first be harnessed for the benefit of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Only after that is done, should any other claims be entertained.
@nasser: If you can get over the narrative spun by your establishment, and get to know the correct history, it was Pakistan that sent in its army disguised as tribal raiders to capture Kashmir in 1948. Thereafter the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir signed an instrument of accession with India. That, my dear friend is a legal binding document. No wonder your establishment doesn't accept it, given their general contempt for the rule of law. And they have done everything possible to distort history by feeding folks like you, junks in your classroom. In fact, I wonder if any of them themselves remember the true events, given all the tales that they have been spinning around this matter. However tales don't change history.
@nasser: "one day kashmir must get independence from illegal indian occupation……….." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Maybe true but that will also result in Pakistan also being ejected from Independent Kashmir. And thats yet another reason why the dam should not be permitted to be constructed.
Diamer Bhasha Backgrounder +++++++++++++++++++++++++ In January 2006, the Government of Pakistan announced the decision to construct 5 multi-purpose storage dams in the country during next 10-12 years. According to the plan, Diamer-Bhasha Dam project was proposed in the first phase.  In November 2008, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council formally approved the project. Council of Common Interests Pakistan, a constitutional body representing the provinces, also approved the construction of the dam.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan laid the foundation stone of the project on 18 October 2011. Source: Wikipedia. Todays Date: 21st July 2013. Targeted Completion Time: 12 Years If all financing is tied in by dec 2013 then a possible completion date: 2024-25 When will Loadshedding disappear from Pakistan +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I am clear that without Diamer Bhasha being on stream Pakistan will be always electricty deficient. And with the target date of 2024-25 Loadhsedding will also be history.
The article fails to mention that China and ADB are competing with one another ( and thats partly inspired by Pakistan) in this case and that also may be a factor in the tardy progress . ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Poorly researched article.
As an Indian I would very much like that we should facilitate the financing of the Diamer Bahsha Dam without diluting the Indian claim on the territory. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The privilege of depriving electricty to Pakistanis belongs to Pakistani policians not to India.
"Diamer Bhasha Dam: Govt seeks ADB financing to kick-start project, again" "Dar said the new government was working on various initiatives to jump-start the economy " +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Interesting phrases though rather cliche'.
"according to an official handout released by the Ministry of Finance." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ So the Japanese package of USD 4 Bn is mentioned in this handout or is it that the report is purposely designed to mis communicate?
@Hari Om: "“Japan has come forward with a $4 billion package for purchase of machinery”" +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Dil ke behlane ko Ghalib yeh khyaal achaa hai.
@nasser you don't have nothing to prove but we have letter of accession that entire J&K is India's territory, sooner or latter you have to vacate it.Since you don't have nothing to prove the world calls India administered Kashmir and for pakistan it uses the term pakistan held Kashmir.
“Japan has come forward with a $4 billion package for purchase of machinery” +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ET may clarify when exactly Japan is supposed to have come forward with a USD 4 Billion package. Japan is on record as having outright rejected Pakistan’s claims that Japan has agreed to provide USD 4 Billion towards purchase of machinery.
ET may note the Japanese denial is given in the following link:
@Sandip: And pakistan claims KASHMIR is part of Pakistan......india has occupied it illegally.....against the will of the Kashmiri ppl........What india is doing in kashmiri world knows it very well...........one day kashmir must get independence from illegal indian occupation...........
Pls remind me how many times has the Daimer Bhasha Dam been inaugurated? +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ And what is the latest target date for completion?
" Delhi believes that the project site is in a disputed territory." Correction. Delhi asserts that the project site is in the illegally occupied part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Hence Pakistan has no right to build this dam on foreign territory.