Experts spurn Iran’s concerns on Salma Dam as illegal
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some political analysts on Saturday spurned neighbouring Iran’s concerns about the newly-inaugurated Salma Dam as ‘illegal’ and said the dam was vital for Afghanistan’s economic development.
President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Afghan-India Friendship dam known as Salma Dam in western Heart province.
A political analyst, Javid Ghafoor, told Pajhwok Afghan News the dam was a huge project implemented for the first time in decades and it blessed the Afghans with happiness.
He said the project gave the Afghan people hope that they could benefit fro from their country’s sources which could play a significant role in boosting Afghanistan’s economy.
About Iran’s concerns over Afghanistan’s water flowing into that country, he said there were now international rules to deal with such issues.
Another political and law affairs analyst, Khoshal Khalil, said the use of Salam Dam in producing power was a great initiative and reliable energy could play a significant role in bolstering the country’s economy.
He said Iran’s concerns over Afghanistan’s water were illegal. Iran could not prevent such projects from being implemented, he said, adding Iran was obliged to resolve the issue in accordance with international regulations.
“There is already an agreement on water with Iran and if Iran has amy problem, they can solve with international rules. The Afghan government has showed its readiness to sit with Iran and resolve the issue.”
A professor in the Kabul University, Faizullah Mohammad Zaland, also termed Salma Dam’s inauguration a significant step towards boosting Afghanistan’s economical, social and political situation and said the Salma project remained incomplete for years because of insecurity, instability and interference of neighboring countries.
Another political analyst and a Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) representative in Europe, Qareebullah Saeed, congratulated all Afghan people over the dam’s inauguration.
He said the dam was crucial to producing power and irrigating agricultural lands.
The $300 million dam is located two kilometers from the Salma Village of the Chisht-i-Sharif district of the province and 176 km east of Herat City.
Construction work on it came to an end after 45 years of wait on July 2015. In 1978 India had pledged to construct the Salma Dam, but the coup against former president Mohammad Daud Khan and subsequent conflicts in Afghanistan left the project hamstrung.
After the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001, the construction of the dam was launched in 2006. It was initially planned to be completed in four years, but the process faced problems due to insecurity and logistical supply problems.
However, the dam was finally completed in 2015 and inaugurated on Saturday by President Ghani and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The dam has the capacity to produce 42 MW of electricity and irrigate thousands of hectares of land.
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