NATURE, in the eyes of many a keen observer of life, is too cruel to overlook a lapse; it operates strictly according to laws of its own, violations are invariably punished and adherence equally rewarded; The folly of politicising Kalabagh Dam, a project beneficial to the country in all its aspects, is being stingingly brought home to us by the ravages the ongoing floods are causing from one end of the country to the other. The logic is simple. Had the dam been in place when water began gushing downwards from the mountains and simultaneously pouring from the heaven above, it would have been absorbed, to a great measure, in its vast reservoir, of a capacity of 6.1 million acre feet. The surplus would have caused lesser damage, the extent depending upon the quantity of the water. It was this realisation that prompted the Prime Minister to opine that the death and destruction we see all around could have been averted if Kalabagh Dam had been constructed. Mr Gilanis point, however, that we dont want to raise this issue at this critical time as it will add to (smaller) provinces sense of deprivation is quite strange; it ill suits the situation. In fact, this is the time when all provinces, big and small, would be most acutely conscious of the need for permanent measures to avert a repetition of the tragedy. And, therefore, this is a tellingly apt time to press the logic for this reservoir. Mr Gilani should not simply dismiss the Kalabagh project on the ground that if there was consensus, the government would go ahead with its construction. It amounts to pushing the challenge under the rug. Technical experts, whom he wants to convince the public of its abiding utility, have been crying hoarse ever since its feasibility was determined that the project would store the inflow coming from the catchment areas, avoiding flooding downstream, and release a measured quantity of water, suiting the need in times of scarcity. And, besides, it will generate 2400MW of power, to be raised to 3600MW later, at cheapest possible rates, lessening the rigours of loadshedding. The government should pick up the thread and launch a focused campaign in its favour. Pakistan is witnessing unprecedented floods whose severity has, according to UN estimates, exceeded that of the tsunami of 2004. Whole villages - the houses, the cattle, the crops, in fact, whatever they contained - and towns have been washed away; their inhabitants who managed to survive are left to fight for a loaf of bread. Vital irrigation structures are either ruined or threatened with destruction. The situation is desperate. Helping the affected to survive is the first priority, then reconstruction and rehabilitation and putting in place safeguards against future calamities. Kalabagh is the obvious recourse.