By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Pakistan's newly posted Ambassador to China, Moin-ul-Haq has highlighted the importance of construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam which is expected to bring about across the board benefits in socio-economic sectors of the country.
The Ambassador in his twitter account highlighted the significance of the project apparently following the publication of an article in ‘The Global Times’ acclaimed as one of the most popular English newspapers in China.
"The key project is yet another concrete example of close Pak-China Friendship" the Ambassador reckoned.
The newspaper article titled ‘China aids construction of Pakistan’s ‘Three Gorges Dam’ despite pandemic’ had pointed out that despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, China and Pakistan were stepping up efforts on committed projects focusing on cooperation in industrial development, agriculture and the improvement of people's livelihoods.
The Diamer-Bhasha Dam and Power Project, also referred to as the ‘Three Gorges Project’ joined a long list of bilateral cooperation efforts between the two countries.
“As a country with an agricultural population accounting for about 60 percent of its total population and agriculture accounting for more than 20 percent of its GDP, the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam remained of great strategic significance for improving Pakistan's water security and sustainable development and it has therefore been supported by successive governments,” Wang Zhihua, economic and commercial minister counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, told the Global Times.
"The Diamer-Bhasha Dam and Power Project, being the third largest dam in Pakistan, will achieve multipurpose objectives. It will increase the water storage capacity of Pakistan from 30 to 48 days. The people of Pakistan are grateful to China, which has once again decided to help Pakistan secure and ensure its strategic water security in the 21st century," Syed Hasan Javed, director of the Chinese Studies Center of Excellence at the National University of Science and Technology in Islamabad (NUST), remarked.
The dam is scheduled to be completed by 2029. During the construction 16,500 jobs will be directly created.