GILGIT: The people to be displaced by the Diamer-Bhasha dam have asked the government to settle the boundary dispute between Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) prior to construction, warning that the row could complicate the situation. “The situation will be complex in the coming days if K-P’s encroachment is not checked,” said Atta Ullah, the president of Affectees of Bhasha Dam Committee on Monday.
The boundary disputes between K-P and G-B emerged a few years back after people on both sides claimed rights over Shandur and parts of Diamer. The tussle intensified as the Gilgit polo team boycotted the Shandur polo tournament.
Last month, lawmakers hailing from Diamer had complained on the floor of G-B Assembly that the leaders of the Hazara movement had erected banners ‘inside the boundary of Diamer district’ suggesting that the area belonged to K-P.
Atta Ullah said that, during the chairman of Wapda Shakil Durrani’s visit, K-P police crossed the boundary to provide security to Durrani. He regretted that the Wapda chief never met the people of Diamer to take note of their grievances.
The Bhasha dam will inundate 110 km of the Karokaram Highway (KKH) and every low-lying village in Diamer.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2010.