Issues relating to Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project settled with Centre: AJK PM

Updated 16 Jan 2019

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AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider says his government has taken serious stock of environmental, economic impact of NJHP. — File photo
AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider says his government has taken serious stock of environmental, economic impact of NJHP. — File photo

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Tuesday claimed that the issues relating to the environmental and economic concerns arising out of Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) had been amicably settled with the federal government.

Speaking on the floor of the Legislative Assembly, he said the federal government had constituted a high-powered committee after its attention was drawn by the AJK government in black and white to address these issues.

The committee that includes representatives of important institutions had agreed to all four points raised by the AJK government and had also dispatched its favourable report to the office of Prime Minister of Pakistan, he added.

The AJK premier maintained that his government had taken serious stock of environmental and economic impact of NJHP that emerged after its commissioning. “We constituted a committee of the heads of all parliamentary parties, apart from convening a conference of all stakeholders, including senior political figures from Muzaffarabad,” he said, adding that these steps had led the federal government to constitute the committee.

Mr Haider said the NJHP was a national project and the Kashmiris had always offered sacrifices in the interest of Pakistan.

“We will continue to do so in future because a strong and prosperous Pakistan is the nucleus of our hopes and aspirations,” he said, expressing the hope that the federal government would provide full support for mitigation of environmental and other issues in the light of the report, prepared by its committee.

He informed the house that the reservations about Kohala Hydropower Project had also been conveyed to the federal government and he was hopeful that those would also be addressed.

The AJK premier rubbished Indian government’s allegation that Pakistan was non-serious in dialogue as the ‘biggest lie’, and said Delhi had always used dialogue as a ploy to kill time and defuse international pressure.

Over the past seven decades, there had been numerous sessions of dialogue between the two sides, but India never showed seriousness to make the process meaningful and result-oriented, he said.

He seized the opportunity to praise Nawaz Sharif, saying his services for strengthening democracy in Pakistan were invaluable.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2019