India unsettled as US backs ‘smartest choice’ Diamer-Bhasha dam

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NEW DELHI: A recent move by the US to mobilise funds for the 4,500MW Diamer-Bhasha dam, while calling it Pakistan’s “smartest choice” for economic development, has left India unsettled, The Times of India reported.

The comments were made at a fund-raising event in Washington organized by the Obama administration to seek support for the Diamer-Bhasha project.

The gesture by the US has distressed India as the new project is to be launched in Gilgit-Baltistan, which India perceives to be illegally occupied by Islamabad.

The statement also comes amid recent ceasefire violations along the Line of Cotrol (LoC), further upsetting Modi’s government, according to sources.  According to official sources, Modi and his government are developing a diplomatic and tactful approach to address the issue with the US.

Delhi is adamant that any infrastructure in that region will be considered illegal, sources added.  Further, sources said, Delhi had expressed an objection to the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan and the issue has been raised repeatedly with both China and Pakistan.

The World Bank had earlier rejected Pakistani government’s proposal for financing the project following India’s reservations against it.

“Investment in the Diamer Bhasha dam is the smartest choice for Pakistan,” Feldman was quoted in a media report days after the event in Washington.

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