LAHORE - Commissioner on Indus Water Treaty Syed Jamaat Ali Shah has stressed the need of constructing maximum dams and reservoirs in the country in order to save water and resolve water issue. He was speaking at a seminar on 'Water crisis in Pakistan and its solution arranged by a local organisation Insan 'Welfare Society Pakistan presided over by former Minister for Irrigation Sardar Arif Rasheed held at a local hotel on Wednesday. He said due to unavailability of sufficient number of dams and reservoirs not less than 26 million acre of water is being wasted every year. He said the capacity of present reservoirs and dams is insufficient as well because silt was decreasing their storage capacity. He said construction of dams and reservoirs in the country have become a political issue and it was the main obligation of the governments to construct maximum number of dam in order to save water not only for the sake of producing energy but also saving agriculture sector of the country, which is on decline due to shortage of water. Unfortunately, the construction of water reservoirs and dams particularly the construction of Kalabagh Dam could not be started due to instable democratic set up in the country while the politicians used the construction of Kalabagh dam for their political motives only, he added. He said change of governments also affect the running policies. However, technical persons are performing their duties in this regard properly but usually influenced by the political figures. All, including politicians and technocrats are responsible for the construction of Baglihar Dam on Chanab River as they did not initiate timely action. He said although the Indus water treat was not a happy marriage but we own this treaty because Tarbela and Mangla Dams were construction under the Indus Water Treaty. He said Indus Water Treaty did not restrict any party regarding number of construction of dams but the thing, needed to be think is that whether negotiations regarding the articles of Indus Water Treaty are according to the wanted spirit of treaty or not otherwise we would have to make think tank. He said negotiations with India are important instead of going in UNO or International Court of Arbitration because ICA would insist us for negotiations with India before contacting the court. He also suggested that Marala must be linked with Mangla Dam in order to resolve the issue of water shortfall in Mangla, which although would be in violation of Indus Water Treaty. We, in fact weekend our case of water saying that we are wasting run of water, he added. While telling causes of shortage of water in Mangla Dam and River Chanab, he said India cut uncountable trees from the jungles besides the rivers located in Indian territory, which led rain shortfall on the upstream areas. Otherwise, he said there is no shortage of water. He said on the cutting of such trees, Pakistan recorded its protest with Indian government. He said Pakistan also recorded its protest when India restricted water of River Chenab for eight days due to construction of Baglihar Dam, which was constructed in violation of Indus Water Treaty. However, India later stopped the construction of Baglihar dam as a result of Pakistani governments interference and protest. He said the agriculture sector is suffering badly due to unavailability of required quantity of water for irrigation purposes, which is 20 to 25 million acre feet only while immeasurable barren land of the country needed water for the cultivation while the growers already fulfilling the need of water for their crops by using of about 50 million acre of underground water reservoirs due to which the underground water level is decreasing rapidly. He said new seeds must be introduced which could produce maximum yield by consuming minimum quantity of water. He said we did not adopt scientific methods in this regard which, creating problems for us and now we have to adopt such scientific methods by constituting bylaws regarding use of underground water for the sake of survival. Sardar Arif Rasheed, Amna Ulfat MPA, Sajida Riaz, Speaker District Kasur, Engineer Khursheed, Engineer Mazhar Ali, Ashraf Ijaz Gil a leader of PPP, Industrialist Suhail Lashari and Mian Tariq Aziz also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the causes and reasons of water crisis in Pakistan.