Narendra Modi will inaugurate hydroelectric power plant in Kashmir, Pakistan protests

Vastavam web: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate on Saturday a hydroelectric power plant in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting protest from neighbour Pakistan that says the project on a river flowing into Pakistan will disrupt water supplies.The 330 megawatt Kishanganga hydropower station, work on which started in 2009, is one of the projects that India has fast-tracked in the volatile state under Modi amid frosty ties between the nuclear-armed countries.

“Pakistan is seriously concerned about the inauguration (of the Kishanganga plant),” its foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday. “Pakistan believes that the inauguration of the project without the resolution of the dispute is tantamount to violation of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).”The Kishanganga project was delayed for several years as Pakistan dragged India to the International Court of Arbitration, which ruled in India’s favour in 2013.

A day before Modi’s trip to the northern state, at least nine people were killed on both sides of the border due to firing by each other’s security forces, officials said.The two countries have fought three wars, two over Kashmir that they rule in part but claim in full.India accuses Pakistan of promoting militancy in Kashmir, a charge that Islamabad denies.Modi’s nationalist party has formed a government in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time, and the federal interior ministry announced on Wednesday it would suspend all operations against militants in the region during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.Modi, who is on a day-long visit to the state, will also flag off the construction of the 14 kilometre-long Zojila tunnel to provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh cities.