Pakistan has rejected as baseless an “Indian claim” that Chinese engineers and staff have abandoned repair of the 969-megawatt Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project. Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Asim Iftikhar told a press briefing on Thursday that India was churning out false and baseless reports about the hydropower project, Dawn reported.
He said a fault was detected in the project and is currently undergoing remedial works for which the entity concerned, Gezhouba Group of China, has been contacted.
Iftikhar said the group has already attained full mobilisation at the site and at present the work was proceeding smoothly without any interruption and completion of the project was expected in 2023.
The FO spokesperson said there was no truth in any report of work stoppage or so-called abandonment.
He said these reports were aimed at misleading the public as well as part of malicious propaganda meant to fuel controversy around Pakistan-China relations, Dawn reported.
Iftikhar said such efforts will not succeed, as all-weather strategic cooperative partners were fully committed to strengthening bilateral cooperation for the benefit of both countries and people.
Answering a question about the presence of a UN-designated individual in Afghanistan, the spokesman said the person was a proclaimed offender and wanted in numerous terrorism-related cases in Pakistan.
He said Pakistani authorities have formally raised this issue with the relevant Afghan interlocutors on multiple occasions, Dawn reported.
He said Pakistan as well as the international community have sufficient reasons to believe that there were still pockets of ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan that have been used by terrorist groups as safe havens.