Muzaffarabad: A massive protest along with a torch rally was held in Muzaffarabad city of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Monday night against the mega-dams proposed to be constructed by Chinese companies on Neelum-Jhelum River.
“Darya Bachao, Muzaffarabad Bachao“
The protesters of ‘Darya Bachao, Muzaffarabad Bachao’ (Save River, Save Muzaffarabad) committee chanted slogans like “Neelum-Jhelum behne do, humein zinda rehne do” (let the Neelum and Jhelum rivers flow, let us live).
The rally was attended by hundreds of residents of the city and people from other parts of PoK.
Recently, Pakistan and China signed agreements to construct Azad Pattan and Kohala Hydropower Projects in PoK region.
Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project of 700.7 megawatts of electricity is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) signed on July 6. The USD 1.54 billion projects will be sponsored by the China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC).
The Kohala Hydroelectric Power Project which will be built on Jhelum River is roughly 7 km upstream of Azad Pattan Bridge in the Sudhanoti District of PoK and 90 km from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.
The project, expected to be completed by 2026, will be sponsored by China Three Gorges Corporation, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Silk Road Fund.
The residents of Muzaffarabad are irked by the high Chinese presence in the area, massive construction of dams, and river diversions threatening their very existence.
Pakistan and China are jointly plundering the natural resources of PoK and Gilgit Baltistan in the wake of ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor. The resentment in the occupied territories is high against Pakistan and China.