Sindh Tas Water Council’s President Muhammad Suleman Khan not only blamed provinces and centre for delaying expeditious construction of Kalabagh Dam, he filed a petition in the Lahore High Court seeking contempt proceedings against the President and the Prime Minister for paying no heed to the court’s judgement of November 29, 2012 on the matter.

Interestingly, apart from the LHC and renowned scientists and engineers, many of the leaders of the ruling PPP have themselves admitted that the reservoir could turn out to be the country’s lifeline and have extolled its many advantages; the notable one being that of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The recent statement was made by Ahmed Mukhtar who apprised the nation of the enormous economic windfall that could accrue from the project. It is a pity that still Lahore High Court orders for its construction have been ignored. It appears the anti-dam lobby is too strong to oppose calls for rescue of the country from the crippling energy shortage. Those who have been doing politics over the issue have led the country into an era of darkness, water shortage and poverty. But so far as the political side is concerned, now is the time to hold a nationwide debate to work out consensus. People living in the dam site as well as parties that stand fiercely against it should be included in the case. But instead of emotional arguments, precedence should be given to facts and scientific opinion. A certain lobby cannot be given freedom to deprive the country of this vital reservoir.