Engineer B.A. Malik has graciously sent me a copy of his new book titled ‘Save Water, Save Pakistan’ which is a landmark treatise on the God given river water potential of Indus Basin in Pakistan by illustrations. The water perspective of the book is holistic, keeping the entire spectrum of dams on our western rivers and tends to remove the doubts and tribulations spread by vested interests, like the anti-Kalabagh dam lobby and pro-Bhasha dam lobby, to show the latter as a better substitute for Kalabagh dam, in spite of its monstrous height and allied dangers in case of a dam bust due to its unprecedented height of over 900 feet in a highly seismic area. The book contains a goldmine of relevant information on all the aspects of water availability, needs and future developmental projects stated by a widely experienced engineer that is a must read for all concerned including policy planners and economists.

The beauty of the book lies in the confession, that a group of engineers including the author convinced late President Ayub Khan to go for Tarbela dam, although World Bank had preferred Kalabagh dam as their priority. It was presumably done in the national interest, Tarbela dam being more difficult to build than Kalabagh dam. Like they say hindsight is better than foresight, it is but human to lose foresight as the subsequent events revealed in the shape of Kalabagh dam becoming a victim to politics that could not have been envisaged earlier. Anyway Engineer B.A Malik is to be congratulated on the compilation of a valuable book on water resources of Pakistan.


Lahore, April 6.