Sir, in his letter in the Nation of Aug 8, Dr Yaqoob Bhatti has criticised the rulers for their inaction on the vital issue of Kalabagh dam. It is not a simple matter of the government just deciding one fine morning to go ahead with the project, the issue has been very badly politicized and made very complex.
Why is the political party that tabled the historical Water Accord shy of even mentioning Kalabagh dam? Who is it who has turned a whole province against Kalabagh dam? Who is it who has misled the people into believing that Sindh will become a desert if Kalabagh dam is built? Why are we told that Kalabagh dam will mean the breakup of the federation? These are some of the questions that demand answers from us, until we can provide the answers it is futile to think that the government can make any head way.
Considering that Punjab meets 40% of its irrigation requirement from ground water while Sindh has almost none, it is pathetic that we the armchair experts have not even been able to convince Sindh that it needs Kalabagh dam more than Punjab needs it, that Sindh will get 2.25 million acre feet of additional water which it cannot get from anywhere else, that Kalabagh dam will not totally stop the floods from irrigating the ‘kutcha’ areas, that the flow in the Indus will increase and not decrease hence there will be no ill effect on the Indus delta because of Kalabagh dam, that Sindh will get all the benefits of power and water without losing even one acre of land or the displacement of even one person.
The above is the campaign that we need to launch hoping that the media will not sit on the sidelines, I will take up the case for KPK in my next column.
Lahore, August 9.