Shehla Raza, deputy speaker Sindh assembly said ‘We stopped Musharraf from building Kalabagh dam’, she spoke as if she had done a great feat, forgetting that a great disservice was done to Pakistan by not building Kalabagh dam. I wish the anchor person had asked the learned Deputy Speaker the reason for the opposition to Kalabagh dam? Apart from politicisation of the issue there is an abysmal level of ignorance about dams and in particularly about Kalabagh dam.

When Bhasha dam was in the news, another member of the Sindh assembly, Humaira Alvani, kept appealing to the government not to build Bhasha dam, since Sindh was already suffering from severe water shortage. Obviously she thought, like many others, that the dam would deplete the flow in the Indus. She was totally ignorant of the fact that the dam would store 7 million acre feet of additional water for the use of the province. Why do they come to the Assemblies without any information? The internet provides all kinds of information and these Sindhi leaders should have done some research before condemning the building of Kalabagh or Bhasha dams? Why do they still believe in myths and rumors?

There is also ignorance of the fact that with the loss of the eastern rivers, now the whole country has to survive on the remaining three rivers, of which Indus is the only river with surplus flow. Then there are those who think that Tarbela dam was built only for Sindh, and Punjab has no share in the water stored at Tarbela dam. That it is Sindh’s water that Punjab is stealing through the Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Panjnad link canals.

It is generally feared that Punjab will deprive Sindh of its due share and take more water from Kalabagh dam because the dam is located in Punjab. As if AJK is taking more water from Mangla dam because the dam is located in AJK, or as if KPK is taking more power from Tarbela dam because the dam is located in KPK! Why do these ignorant people still come to power? There is also ignorance that after the Water Accord of 1991, it is IRSA and not Punjab which is entrusted with distribution of river waters, with Sindh having three votes in IRSA to one vote for Punjab, and Punjab having agreed to a reduction in its share to increase Sindh’s share in all future dams, why are Sindhi politicians still beating the old drum of ‘less water’?

It is through sheer ignorance that the people of Sindh are causing incalculable harm not only to themselves, but also to the whole country, and are proudly claiming that they stopped construction of Kalabagh dam. How much longer can Pakistan survive or develop if such goofs sit in the decision making Assemblies?


Lahore. April 12.