Pakistan said on Wednesday that Afghanistan’s concerns over the Dasu hydropower project were misplaced as the proposed project was on Indus River and not on Kabul River as claimed by the neighbouring country.
The issue of Kabul’s objections over Dasu dam was taken up by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar with his counterpart Omar Zakhiwal, who made a telephonic call to Dar.
Finance Minister Dar explained Pakistan’s point of view on the Dasu Hydel Power Project and informed his Afghan counterpart that since the project was on Indus River and not on Kabul River therefore, Afghanistan should not have any reservations on the project, according to an official statement issued by Ministry of Finance.
Zakhilwal promised that he will look into this issue and if Dasu dam was constructed on Indus River then Afghanistan will have no concern, according to the official statement.
According to a story published in The Express Tribune, The National Security Council of Afghanistan had instructed the country’s foreign and finance ministries to convey concerns to the World Bank about Pakistan’s decision to build the power project on Kabul-Indus River in Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It had urged the World Bank and other international organisations to stop its funding.
Pakistan has already approached the World Bank to start the process for the approval of a $700 million loan for the 4,320-megawatt (MW) project.
Afghanistan had claimed that Pakistan neither informed Afghanistan about the project through diplomatic channels nor there was any agreement between the two countries. The Afghan Foreign Ministry called upon all international institutions not to finance and implement the project without the written consent of the Afghan government.
During the telephonic conversation, the Afghan finance minister also shared his country’s desire for early completion of CASA-1000 electricity import project. He hoped for the success of the forthcoming Pakistan-Tajikistan tariff negotiations and said that Afghanistan was eager to provide its help and facilitation for CASA-1000 Project, which will play an important role in promoting relations between the two countries and beyond to the Central Asian Republics.
Both finance ministers also exchanged views on the follow up to the Joint Economic Commission meeting held in Kabul and updated each other on the status of implementation and expressed desire to enhance the economic relations between the two countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2014.