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Good news: Jirga of Diamer, Kohistan elders settle Thor and Harban tribe dispute

PM Imran Khan

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. Image: File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that the settlement of the decade-old Thor and Harban tribes’ dispute will allow smooth and timely completion of Diamer Bhasha Dam.

It will also pave way for the settlement of a boundary dispute between Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Imran Khan said in a Twitter post.

Read more: Wapda, SCO sign Rs860 million IT services contract for Diamer-Basha Dam construction

The Prime Minister described the settlement of the dispute by the Grand Jirga of Diamer and Upper Kohistan elders as “historic development and good news on Diamer Bhasha Dam”.

The dispute had claimed lives of seven people in 2014. Later, a jirga was formed in December 2020 to resolve this territorial dispute between Harban area of Kohistan (KP)and Thore area of Diamer (Gilgit-Baltistan).​

This historic announcement was made by Thor-Herban grand jirga, mandated for settlement of the dispute, at a ceremony held Tuesday at Diamer Basha Dam Project site.

​Besides the jirga members, WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen (Retd) Muzammil Hussain, Commander FCNA Major General Jawwad Ahmed, WAPDA General Manager Land Acquisition and Resettlement Brigadier (Retd) Shoaib Taqi, WAPDA General Manager/Project Director Diamer Bhasha Dam Rao Muhammad Yousaf, Commissioner Diamer- Astore Division, Deputy Commissioner Diamer District, Additional Deputy Commissioner Upper Kohistan, MPA Upper Kohistan, GB ministers and MLAs from Diamer District, local elders, senior officers of WAPDA and large number of people from Thor and Herban tribes attended the ceremony.

​The jirga comprised of 13 Members each from Diamer District of Gilgit Baltistan and Upper Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including elders and religious scholars which had a series of detailed deliberations during the last two years.

It was fully facilitated by the civil administrations of Gilgit Baltistan and KP and WAPDA during their course of deliberations.

​In line with the decisions made by the jirga, WAPDA Chairman, Commander FCNA and Thor-Herban Grand Jirga Members in the ceremony presented cheques worth Rs. 400 million to the affectees of 2014 clash between the two tribes claiming lives and properties.

​Addressing the ceremony, WAPDA Chairmen thanked the jirga for settlement of the boundary dispute between Thor and Herban tribes.

He also appreciated the tedious efforts made by the civil administrations of Gilgit Baltistan and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa and Land Acquisition and Resettlement WAPDA in facilitating the Grand Jirga to arise to the historic resettlement.

​Earlier, WAPDA Chairman also visited various sites of Diamer Bhasha Dam to review the progress on the project.

​The WAPDA is constructing Diamer Basha Dam Project on River Indus, which is scheduled to be completed in 2028-29.

Read more: Independent consultant to monitor Diamer-Basha Dam progress

The Project will have a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 MAF to irrigate 1.23 million acres of additional land. With an installed power generation capacity of 4,500 MW, the project will provide more than 18 billion units per annum to the national grid.

The construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam will also have a positive impact on the annual energy generation of the existing hydel power stations including Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha etc. that will increase by another 2.5 billion units. In addition, the life of Tarbela Dam will also increase by another 35 years.

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