WASHINGTON: India is asking the United States not to invest in the Diamer-Bhasha project, media reports said on Tuesday.

According to these reports, India has also asked the US administration to ensure that American companies did not invest in the project.

In the complaint, being sent to Washington through diplomatic channels, Indian officials claimed that the dam was being built on a territory disputed between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan plans to build the dam in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, which India claims is disputed because it was part of the former state of the Maharaja of Kashmir.

Last week, the United States hosted a one-day conference in Washington to help Pakistan raise funds for the 4,500MW Diamer-Bhasha project.

USAID chief Rajiv Shah, US special representative for Afghanistan-Pakistan Dan Feldman, US ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson and other key officials attended the event.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif led the Pakistani delegation.

Talking to the Pakistani media after the conference, Mr Dar rejected the Indian objection to the project as “irrelevant”, adding that during his five-day stay in Washington “no US official or investor showed any concern” about the Indian claim.

The World Bank, which had earlier raised concerns about possible negative environmental impact of the dam, too “seems keen to help Pakistan build the dam,” Mr Dar said.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2014

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