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Supreme Court asked details regarding donated funds for Dams

Islamabad: The Supreme Court (SC), while hearing a suo motu case on the matter, recently directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to provide the latest details regarding the funds donated for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.

A five-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed, resumed the hearing. Informing the court of the state of the funds provided for the development of the dams, the SBP’s official said that additional profits could be generated if the funds were invested in stocks; even though it may be a higher risk investment. Currently, the funds have been invested in relatively low-risk but profitable products.

According to the SBP official, the authorities concerned had also written to all the embassies urging them to collect more funds for the dams from overseas Pakistanis.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice stated that the funds for the development of the dams had already been collected and that the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) could utilise them when needed.

He further directed WAPDA to resolve any land issues that arise related to the dam sites. CJP Ahmed specifically highlighted the problems with the land earmarked for the construction of the Mohmand Dam, as its ownership is claimed by the Usmankhel and Burhankhel tribes. In reply, a WAPDA official informed the court that only 32 families were living on the disputed land at the moment and that the authority did not require the said piece of land during the first phase of the dam’s construction

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