Despite the antics of Gen Fazl-e-Haq and opposition by Wali Khan, work on Kalabagh dam never stopped. After ten years of exhaustive Studies and Reviews by the World Bank, Foreign and Local Consultants, the Project was at the stage of International Tendering in 1986 when it had to be put on back burner because of controversy on the political front, as reported in a file in the Irrigation Department Lahore. This was when Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan and started opposing Gen Zia on everything under the sun including Kalabagh dam, Sindh will become a desert if Kalabagh dam is built, she said. This turned the whole of Sindh and half of Punjab dead against the dam. After Ghulam Mustafa Khar had parted company with PPP, he gave an interview to the 'Jang newspaper in 1997. He said he was able to persuade Benazir about the need for Kalabagh dam. He quoted her as saying in a cabinet meeting in Sindh that she had been against Kalabagh dam because it was Zias dam, but now that she had been briefed by the experts, she believed it was essential for Pakistan and for Sindh. He also said he had received a letter from the prime minister thanking him for his efforts on Kalabagh dam but cautioning him not to go public until she had prepared ground for it in the party. When questioned by a journalist on the change in her original stand on the issue, she said, how could I have supported Zia who had hanged my father. But on going out of power she started opposing the dam again because now it had become Nawazs dam. The people being unaware of her change of mind as prime minister have continued to oppose the dam because of her earlier and later opposition to Kalabagh dam. Her original opposition can be justified but having become convinced that Kalabagh dam was essential for Pakistan and for Sindh, her later opposition to the dam is the worst example of playing politics with an issue so vital to the interest of the country and its 18 crore people. ENGR KHURSHID ANWER, Lahore, August 6.