Islamabad, July 18: The Council of Common Interest (CCI) today discussed and ‘approved’ construction of the Diamir – Bhasha Dam in Diamir district of Gilgit – Baltistan region.
Chief ministers of the four provinces of Pakistan participated in the meeting but elected leader of the region where the proposed dam is to be built was not invited to attend the meeting. The meeting was chaired by prime minister Gilani.
Construction of the dam has hit a snag due to World Bank’s refusal to provide funds.
Gilgit – Baltistan is yet to gain a say in decisions that have long lasting repercussions for the region’s future. The ‘province-like’ state granted to the region recently under a presidential order does not envisage membership for Gilgit – Baltistan in the Council of Common Interests.
Analysts argue that exclusion of Gilgit – Baltistan’s elected leadership from this important meeting reveals the reality behind the much trumpeted empowerment order.
On the other hand government officials argue that since CM of Gilgit – Baltistan does not have membership in the constitutional body he could not be invited on technical grounds. They are of the opinion that people in Gilgit – Baltistan are generally in favor of the dam’s construction.