Exploitation of Pakistan in Azad Kashmir in field of Hydel power

Exploitation of Pakistan in Azad Kashmir in field of Hydel power

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By Dr Shabir Choudhry
Relationship between Pakistan and so called Azad Kashmir is that of a master and a slave; or perhaps, more appropriately relationship is that of an exploiter and exploited. Pakistani government and officials systematically exploit both regions of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. However, some mental slaves of Pakistan because of continuous one – sided propaganda and because of excessive use of religion do not have consciousness of being occupied or exploited.

Let me support this view point by a few examples. Upper Jhelum Canal was constructed during the British Raj. The Punjab government under the British Raj generously gave facilities to the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir and his subjects, inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir received royalty from the Punjab government up till 1947, because the Canal originates from the River Jhelum and runs through the Jammu and Kashmir territory before it enters Punjab territory near a place called Ali Baig. When the British Raj ended on 15 August 1947, the so called big brother of Kashmiris emerged as an independent country. Since that date we have not received anything as a royalty. After that date we are systematically exploited and looted.

On 22 October 1947, in violation of a written agreement Pakistani government managed a tribal attack which resulted in death of tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children, rapes, kidnapping and plunder. The attackers were told everything which is removable is yours and everything else belonged to Pakistan, meaning land, buildings and natural resources etc belonged to Pakistan.

From that day onwards there has been one way traffic, exploitation, manipulation, looting and plunder of our resources by Pakistan. Billions of Rupees worth property belonging to State of Jammu and Kashmir was takeover by Pakistan, and to date we have not received any rent or proceedings of these properties. In another article I have provided some details of these properties. 1

Exploitation over Mangla Dam is very well documented by many writers, and I have also written a number of articles on this topic. In nutshell, Pakistan did not build Kala Bagh Dam in Pakistan to meet water and energy requirements of Pakistan, but uprooted tens of thousands of people of Mirpur and built Mangla Dam against our wishes. Thousands of families were not paid any compensation and no proper arrangements were made to settle these people. Innocent people were promised free electricity, but in reality we pay more per unit than people of District Jhelum just a few miles away.

The Dam was completed in 1967, and it’s all costs were recovered after 5 years; but Azad Kashmir was not paid anything in the form of royalty. We cannot use the water of the Dam; and we don’t have sufficient drinking water. After the upraising of the Mangla Dam, it has capacity to produce 1400 MW. There are other small and medium size projects which take the current production of electricity to more than 1500 MW. If we generously use electricity in Azad Kashmir, still our requirement is less than 350 MW.

Question arises why do we suffer from long hours of load shedding when we produce five times more than our requirement? All the electricity produced first goes to Pakistan, so called National Grid. From there the Pakistani officials distribute electricity to various places; and we know for sure that we are not on top of their list of priorities, hence up to 14 -16 hours load shedding in our region. If we complain or expose this we are labelled as ‘anti Pakistan’ and in some cases ‘agents of India’ and other countries.

Our just demand: we must have priority in use of our electricity, water and other natural resources. Any surplus, Pakistan should buy from us; and not exploit us like an imperial power.

There are many other means of exploitation and I cannot include all the forms of exploitation in one article.2 Just take example of Neelam Jhelum Project. People of Pakistan did not allow construction of Kala Bagh Dam even though it was to benefit Pakistan. Pakistan is constructing Neelam Jhelum Dam near Muzaffarabad against our wishes. Hundred percent benefits of this dam will go to Pakistan. We will only suffer from environment problems; and to rub salt in our wounds Pakistan is charging each household of Azad Kashmir around 20 Rs per month for the construction of this dam.

If there were 300,000 households in Azad Kashmir, and if we multiply that with 20 Rs per month, call it ‘Jaga tax or ‘Bhata collection’ net income of Pakistan per month is 6.000,000. If this is multiplied that with 12 months, net profit is: 72,000,000 per annum. Pakistan has been looting this for many years. Those who complain against this or expose this day light robbery, they are accused of being anti Pakistan and agents of India. Mental slaves and foot soldiers of Pakistan choose to remain quiet because they don’t want to be in the bad books of Pakistan and their agencies.

A friend who is in a position of some authority has provided me some information and I want to share that readers. I will never let this friend down. He is a true well wisher of the people of Jammu and Kashmir; better than many people with hat of nationalism on their heads.

Below is a list of projects in Azad Kashmir. Some of the projects are completed and producing electricity; and others are under construction. There are only seven projects which have not started and I have put potential against them. If we had no other form of income, and we only relied on our water/ electricity resources we can be many times better off than many countries in the world, including Pakistan, which says Azad Kashmiri people will starve without help of Pakistan.

1. Tahobat: 5 MW
2. Janawahi: 5 MW
3. Shontar: 20 MW
4. Sharda 3 MW
5. Gurnot 40 MW potential
6. Dorain 14 MW potential
7. Nagdar 5.4 MW
8. Keel 0.2 MW
9. Kundal shahi 2 MW
10. Jagran 30 MW
11. Jagran 2 45 MW potential
12. Jagran 4 08 MW
13. Madar Buldara 10.2 MW
14. Riali 3 3.7 MW
15. Jhing 1 14 MW potential
16. Jhing 2 03 MW potential
17. Riali 1 1.6 MW
18. Riali 2 4.9 MW
19. Pattika 0.2 MW
20. Patrind 147 MW
21. Rara 35 MW
22. Neelam Jhelum 968 MW
23. Harriola 12 MW
24. Hoteri 5.4MW
25. Kathai 3.2MW
26. Kathai 2 5 MW
27. Leepa 1.6 MW
28. Chammfall: 6.5 MW
29. Chinari 0.1MW
30. Chakothi Hatian 139 MW
31. Mahl 590 MW
32. Hari Ghal 54 MW potential
33. Qadirabad 3 MW
34. Barar 1MW potential
35. Rerah 1.5 MW
36. Baltar 4.8 MW
37. Azad Patan 650 MW
38. Hajira 2 MW
39. Pothi 0.2 MW potential
40. Shera 130 MW
41. Dakhari 2.2 MW
42. Kotli 100 MW
43. Sarhota 1 MW
44. Sarsawa 07 MW
45. Kotli Ban 1 MW
46. Gulpur Kotli 100 MW
47. Rajdhni 132 MW
48. Dhanwan 1.5 MW
49. Mangla 1400 MW
50. New Bong 84 MW
51. Jari 1 MW
52. Samahni 1.6 MW
53. Pathi 0.2 MW 3
Writer is a political analyst, TV anchor and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Chairman South Asia Watch and Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com

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