The history of big dams in the South East Asia and Middle East is indentified with big leaders that built these without any ascertainable so-called consensus. Take the case of historic Sidd-i-Maarib dam in Yemen, Hoover dam and grand coolie dams of U.S.A., Aswan High dam of Egypt, Tarbela dam of Pakistan and a dam on Narbada river in India were all built by strong central leaders of those countries. Unfortunately in Pakistan the only mega dams Tarbela and Mangla were built by a strongman Field Marshal (late) Ayub Khan. All the later leaders, be they martial or civil, did not prove equal to the task and left Pakistan high and dry.

Even the fruits of democracy did not give us any mega dam to the ill luck of people who could not arrive at a consensus due to their patently false and highly biased views against each other. The spirit of unity faith and discipline preached by the Quaid-i-Azam was lost when ‘one unit’ was broken up into four provinces and more in the future. This resulted in many voices that could not be reconciled in national interest thanks to the pygmy leaders that ascended the throne one after another.

DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI,

Lahore, September 2.