Tuesday, October 19, 2010

GB is not entitled to get any royalty: Federal Minister Communication

ISLAMABAD: Federal Communication Minister, Arbab Alamgeer, has said that Gilgit Baltistan is not entitled to get any royalty and it would get only "user charges" of Bhasha Dam.

Talking to local media he said that Gilgit Baltistan is not entitled to get any royalty because it is a disputed territory just like Kashmir and not constitutional part of Pakistan.

The minister also said that GB would get the “user charges” for Diamir Dam. He has also reportedly said that Governor and Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan are not constitutional positions.

Earlier, at several occassions, Arbab Alamgir has reiterated that Gilgit Baltistan was neither entitled to the royalty of Bhasha dam nor it would be given a single penny in this regard. After repeated statements of Federal Minister who belongs to Peshawar, it is most likely that Gilgit Baltistan would not be given its due share in the Royalty of Bhasha Dam as per the commitments made by the formar PM Shaukat Aziz in his visit to Gilgit after strong protests against the construction of Bhasha Dam in the region.

Last month, the GB assembly was informed that a political party of Kohistan had displayed sign boards, banners and wall chalking inside the boundary of Diamer claiming the ownership of large part of Gilgit Baltistan.

Atta Ullah, president, Affecties of Bhasha Dam Committee has said last week that the boundary dispute between Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) should be settled prior to the construction of Bhasha Diamer dam. He warned that "The situation will be complex in the coming days if encroachment by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is not checked,”.

Atta Ullah said that, during the chairman of Wapda Shakil Durrani’s visit, KP 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.

More than 100 km areas upstreame the Bhasha Dam and almost all low lying areas of Diamer would be submurged which is part of Gilgit Baltistan.

Pmir Times adds: Statements of the federal minister confirm the analysis of independent groups, mostly nationalistic parties, that the ‘empowerment and self-government order’ is nothing more than a cosmetic set-up, meant to further complicate the constitutional status of Gilgit – Baltistan region.

The nationalist circles are questioning the rationale of constructing the dam in a disputed territory. They consider construction of the Dam in Diamir as a brazen land grabbing attempt by the government of Pakistan. The nationalists also demand of the United Nation to take notice of the ‘neo-colonial colonization of Gilgit – Baltistan’.

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