ON the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Yousaf Reza Gilani met ADB President Haruhiko Kurodo, from whom he made a number of requests. However, the most important for him was that for financing of the $8 billion Bhasha-Diamer Dam Project. Mr Kurodo did not commit to any of the other projects that Prime Minister Gilani talked about, and certainly not the Dam project, except to say that the Bank would consider the request. However, Mr Gilani still gave Mr Kurodo a briefing on the measures that his government had taken to carry out structural reforms. He had also thanked the Bank for its timely disbursement of the first tranche of $500 million in last September under the 'Pakistan Accelerating Transformation' initiative, but more importantly expressed the hope that the second tranche would be disbursed by the second quarter of this year. True, the Bhasha Dam was due to be the next major project, but the funding was supposed to be in place. In fact, the tenders for the Dam have been floated. Only now has it become clear that the money has not been lined up, and the outgoing Musharraf government has left the Gilani government to raise the funds for the project. In the process, the government is sucking up funds which should have gone on the Kalabagh Dam Project. Though there is no doubt that the Bhasha Dam will bring many benefits, it is by no means a substitute for the Kalabagh Project, except that international funding for it should not be diverted by such means towards the Bhasha Project. Kalabagh was abandoned after funds from international financial institutions had been lined up. The feasibilities are complete, and the Project is more or less ready to be implemented. While there have been needless objections raised to the Project, there is still need for a national consensus on it. The present government should have worked on that, which the people of Pakistan still await, rather than going after a project started by the previous government.