Sino-Pak Deal To Build Dam in PoK

Chinese state-run firm China Power and commercial arm of Pakistan’s military Frontier Works Organisation have collaborated to construct the Daimer-Bhasha dam in the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region. India protested immediately and cleared its stand over this matter.

Crux of the Matter

Diamer-Basha Dam
Pakistan and China have signed a 442 billion Pakistani Rupees contract to build a dam on the Indus river. The dam will have 8 million acre-feet (MAF) reservoirs and a height of 272-metre. It will be the tallest RCC dam in the world. The structure of the dam will consist of a spillway with 14 gates and 5 outlets for flushing out silt.

In case of emergency, there is a diversion system that involves two tunnels and a diversion canal each of 1 kilometer long. The hydropower plant at the dam will be able to produce 21 MW power at full capacity. This dam is very important for Pakistan as it will increase the water capacity of Pakistan from 30 days to 48 days.

India’s Strong Protest
India protested the Sino-Pak joint venture as it is in the disputed territory of Gilgit-Baltistan. India has cleared its stand over the matter. Recently India’s decision of weather forecasting of Gilgit-Baltistan was a diplomatic response to Pakistan clearing the clouds over the issue of territory in the northern region. In the past, India had protested against the “One Belt One Road” project as it ignored India’s essential concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a part of OBOR, which comes under the disputed PoK.

Our position is consistent and clear that the entire territory of the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are, and will continue to be an integral and inalienable part of India.

Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson, External Affairs Ministry

China’s Vested Interests?
China has a motive to integrate India’s northern part into its sphere by political, economic, and military support. China’s wants to connect China’s Kashgar in Xinjiang to Balochistan’s Gwadar port that China is constructing. To do so, both countries signed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is estimated that this route consists of resources and a market of 1.8 million people and has a potential of business of ~$60 billion. China and Pakistan have support from each other on the international platform in the matter of PoK.

Increasing Terrorist Attacks
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, terrorist activities backed by Pakistan have increased. In the recent Doda terrorist attack in J&K, the army neutralized the attack by the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) terrorist group and killed top HM commander Tahir Ahmed Bhat. In past terrorist attacks in Handwara, Kupwara and Pulwama were also neutralized by the Indian Armed Forces. The army is on alert after standoffs with Chinese forces in Sikkim and Ladakh.

  • The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, China. The Three Gorges Dam has been the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity (22,500 MW) since 2012. The dam flooded archaeological and cultural sites, displaced some 1.3 million people, and had caused significant ecological changes including an increased risk of landslides. The dam has been controversial both domestically and abroad. In 2010, NASA scientists calculated that the shift of water mass stored by the dam would increase the length of the Earth’s day by 0.06 microseconds and make the Earth slightly more round in the middle and flat on the poles.
  • Kallanai is an ancient dam, which is built across the Kaveri river in Thanjavur District in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. The dam was originally constructed by the Chola king Karikalan in 100 BC – 100 AD. It is the fourth-oldest water-diversion or water-regulator structure in the world and the oldest in India which is still in use.
  • The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank, to use the water available in the Indus System of rivers. The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was signed in Karachi on 19 September 1960 by Jawaharlal Nehru and then Ayub Khan. Salal Dam is a hydropower project on the Chenab River in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. It was the first hydropower project built by India in Kashmir under the Indus Water Treaty.