The article ‘Pakistan losing the water war’ by Javed Iqbal in the Nation on Sep 12 has drawn an excellent comparison between how India has made full use of the three eastern rivers and how Pakistan has failed miserably to do so on the three western rivers, leaving the country to face floods and droughts, shortage of power resulting in load shedding and shortage of water resulting in food inflation.

Among the many useful suggestions the author has made the most feasible is the proposal to build large capacity flood canals between the three rivers. Irrigation experts have been saying since long that the best way to equalise/ minimise the effect of floods and droughts across the country is to integrate the three rivers into one single-river-basin for optimum use by all the stakeholders. One link in this chain of flood canals has to be the left bank canal at Kalabagh dam. India is already spending billions on linking all its rivers from the Ravi up to the Ganges. The author has concluded that the opponents of Kalabagh dam and other reservoirs were responsible for the current damage of lives, crops and houses. Cases must be registered against such people

I feel we should stop deluding ourselves that it is Indian agents who are opposing Kalabagh dam. Did not a political leader say that Sindh would become a desert if Kalabagh dam was built? It is our own politicians who have misled our people. We have to convince the people with facts and figures that no such thing will happen; on the contrary nothing can save Sindh from becoming a desert if Kalabagh dam is not built.

The media must carry out investigative reporting to get the facts and figures from the experts. If we keep skirting around this issue Kalabagh dam will never be built and we will keep losing the water war no matter how many small dams we build.


Lahore, September 14.