Beijing: China plans to complete ahead of schedule a $2 billion hydropower project in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to ease an energy crisis in Pakistan.
The Karot Hydropower Project is being built on Jhelum river on a “build-own-operate-transfer" basis for 30 years. It will be owned by a Chinese company for 30 years, after which ownership will be turned over to the government of Pakistan. Karot Power Company Ltd, a subsidiary of China Three Gorges South Asia Investment, owns the Karot Power Station, state-run Global Times reported on Tuesday.
The company said in a statement that the project will help ease Pakistan’s power shortage and generate local employment. The report has not mentioned the new timeline for the project. Karot Power Station has a capacity of 720 megawatts and China Three Gorges South Asia Investment also has other power projects in Pakistan, including hydro, wind and solar power, which would largely solve Pakistan’s problem, it said.
“India has repeatedly expressed its concern over the project since the project is located in disputed Kashmir, but it won’t affect cooperation between China and Pakistan, because the ties are unshakable and will not target India," the daily quoted Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of International Relations, as saying.
“With China’s support and assistance, Pakistan’s power shortage will very likely be solved by 2025, which means a main obstacle to Pakistan’s economic development will be removed," Hu said.