Pakistan pulls plug on dam deal over China’s ‘too strict’ terms

Islamabad: Pakistan has decided to cancel a $14 billion infrastructure agreement with China because it could not accept the “hyper strict” conditions, local media reported on Thursday.
The exclusion of the Diamer-Bhasha dam from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework, a key element to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, was because China’s hyper strict conditions for funding the project were “not doable and against our interests”, Express News on Thursday quoted Water and Power Development Authority chairman Muzammil Hussain as saying.
The harsh conditions included China taking ownership of the project, the operation and maintenance costs and pledging to build another operational dam.
The project will go ahead, however, as Pakistan has decided to finance the project — which will generate 4,500 megawatts (MW) of hydropower — itself.
China and Pakistan are due to hold a meeting about the CPEC on November 21. The two sides have prioritised about 15 thermo energy projects valued at $2.2 billion.