Pakistan has outsourced the reconstruction and development of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, to five countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait and South Korea as par media reports.
According to senior officials in the Azad Kashmir government, the five countries will build hydropower projects, schools, colleges, government offices, university and mosques in the area.
At least 3,000 Chinese and 300 Korean workers are stationed in Muzaffarabad and adjacent areas for construction of different projects after the city was devastated by the 2005 earthquake that killed around 60,000 people.
“Foreign countries are in direct touch with the government here and donations come directly to us. They have already completed many projects,” former prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Haider, told a group of reporters.
“After completion of all the projects, Muzaffarabad will be a blend of eastern and middle-eastern architecture and modernisation,” he added.
Saudi Arabia is building a university campus which is currently being run from temporary multi-storied structures whereas, the new government office buildings, secretariat and residential enclosures are being built by Turkey.
Chinese and Koreans are mainly involved in building the hydro-power projects. Koreans have already completed two 100 MW projects and are working on another 89MW project. Chinese are developing 1,100 MW power project on River Jehlum besides other smaller projects. Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan is also developing a 969MW Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project near Muzaffarabad.