ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Wednesday asked the Afghan government not to oppose the construction of Dasu Hydel Power Project, as the project is on Indus River and not on Kabul River.

Energy-starved Pakistan has planned to construct 4600-megawatt Dasu Hydel Power Project with the assistance worth of $700 million to be provided by World Bank. However, the Afghanistan’s National Security Council (NSC) has opposed the proposed Dasu hydropower project on Indus River by Pakistan, saying constructing dam on joint waters was against the international laws. The Afghan NSC said construction of dam on Kabul-Indus River would hurt the interest of Afghanistan and decided to raise the issue with the World Bank and ask them not to release funds for the proposed Dasu hydropower project without the consent of Afghan government.

Therefore, the Afghan Finance Minister Dr Omar Zakhilwal made a telephonic call to Pakistan Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar to discuss the aforesaid issue. Ishaq Dar explained Pakistan’s point of view on Dasu Hydel Power Project and informed his Afghan counterpart that since the Project is on Indus River and not on Kabul River therefore, Afghanistan should not have any reservations on the project.

Dr Omar Zakhilwal assured the Minister that he will look into this issue and if Afghanistan is not an upper or lower riparian country on the river on which Dasu Project will be constructed then Afghanistan will have no concern. He added that probably it is due to any misunderstanding on the location of the project that the Afghan National Security Council has expressed its concerns.

The Afghan Minister shared his country’s desire for early completion of CASA-1000 Project. He hoped for the success of forthcoming Pakistan-Tajikistan tariff negotiations and said that Afghanistan is eager to provide its help and facilitation for CASA-1000 Project, which will play an important role in promoting relations between the two countries and beyond to the Central Asian Republics. Both the Finance Ministers exchanged views on the follow up to the Joint Economic Commission meeting held in Kabul and updated each other on the status of implementation. Pakistan’s Finance Minister appreciated and thanked the Afghan Government for extending hospitality and warmth during his visit to Afghanistan. 

Both sides concluded with the desire to enhance the economic relations between the two countries.