Mr. Ishaq Dar, our Finance Minister has attempted to spin a new yarn at the recently held meeting in USA to find parties ready to finance Bhasha dam. While the minister reported that the funding agencies had shown interest in the dam, the lukewarm attitude of the financers is apparent by the remarks of IFC representative EVP Jin Yong Cai, who said that they would require more study of the risk-profiling factor involved in the dam. It is well known that Bhasha dam site is located at the confluence of several fault lines in the area. As such it is located in the earthquake prone area of high magnitude, already earthquakes of 8 to 9 on Richter scale have been reported.

However Indian objection to the project, being located in a disputed area, is an abiding obstacle to the issue of a NOC from India, which needs to be resolved. Whereas Kalabagh Dam’s site is located in a safe area within Pakistan, but has been kept on the back burner for several decades. The funding agencies do not have spare money to be thrown into dubious projects, while we are not interested to move actively for developing the so-called controversial KBD. Why is consensus needed for something that will only help Pakistan? The rulers ought to convince the dissenting parties that KBD is a much better substitute for Bhasha, if only there is a will to do the project.


Lahore, October 13.