ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday said that the laying of foundation stone of Diamer-Bhasha Dam hydropower project early next week is a major step of the present government in addressing the energy issues in the country. He said this during his meeting with Governor Gilgit-Baltistan Pir Karam Ali Shah and Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah, who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that matters relating to law and order situation and the status of various development projects initiated by the present government in Gilgit-Baltistan came under discussion during the meeting. The Spokesperson said that Diamer-Bhasha Dam would produce inexpensive hydro energy equal to 4,500 megawatts and ensure food and water security besides increasing the cultivable lands. The Project would also extend the life of Tarbela Dam located downstream by 35 years and would help control flood damages in the country, he said. The Governor and Chief Minister briefed the President about development projects and the various steps taken in collaboration with the federal government to maintain peace and security in Gilgit-Baltistan. The President assured all out support of the federal government for all the schemes and plans aimed at the development of the Gilgit Baltistan and bringing its people into the mainstream of national life in terms of socio- economic development.