ISLAMABAD - Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Wednesday said national development is impossible in absence of new dams. Many former governments avoided construction of dams due to political interests leaving country dependent on costly fossil fuel for generation of electricity which damaged masses, production, and exports, it said. Increased price of electricity resulted in the loss of competitiveness of our products in the international market leading to deficits which were bridged through local and foreign loans, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt. He said avoiding KBD pleased some politicians but shook the foundations of the economy. All the politicians, intellectuals and other elements opposing Kalabagh dam know that Pakistan has no future without this dam but some of them continue to dance on the tune of their foreign masters, he added. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that delay in construction of KBD is threatening the whole population and economy of the country.

Nothing can save the country from remaining vulnerable to floods and becoming a desert if KBD is not built, he noted.

He said that patriotic elements need to educate masses on the pros and cons of KBD mired in intense political controversy since decades, remove the cobwebs of ignorance, and save 200 million people from the hunger, thirst, and poverty.

The federal government is constitutionally bound to start the project in the light of the Council of Common Interests decisions taken in 1991 and 1998; he said adding that lack of consensus on KBD amounts to playing with the future of Pakistan.