ISLAMABAD - Showing reservation over the water accord of 1991 for the first time, Punjab said that water distribution among the provinces, under para 2 of the agreement, is impossible unless two new mega water reservoirs are constructed.

Pakistan People’s Party’s Parliamentarian from Sindh Yusuf Talpur said that Sindh is not going to endorse the construction of Kalabagh Dam and Punjab has to separate from Pakistan if it wants to build the dam.

“Punjab is unhappy with the water accord 1991 as it has reduced the province’s share and if Sindh has a problem with the water distribution under 14b it should go to the CCI for the resolution of the issue,” said officials of the Punjab Irrigation Department in IRSA and Water Resource Ministry briefing to Sindh parliamentarians about the water situation in the country and 1991 water accord.

The PPP side was comprising Yusuf Talpur, Abdul Sattar Bajani, Azra Fazal and Shazia Murree, and they were briefed by Minister for Water Resources Javed Shah, Secretary Water Resources, Joint Secretary Water Resources, Mehr Ali Shah, Chiarman IRSA, members IRSA, and other officials.

Punjab was represented by Advisor on Water M.H. Siddiqui, Secretary Irrigation Punjab, Asad Khan and former Punjab member IRSA Rao Irshad.

PPP parliamentarians said that they would conduct study through the World Bank for distribution of water among the provinces and has threatened to start hunger strike for implementations of the 1991 water accord. 

Rao Irshad said that if not today, tomorrow the country has to decide about the construction of Kalabagh Dam. Nawab Yusuf Talpure said: “you want us to endorse Kalabagh Dam but first separate Punjab from Pakistan and then construct the dam”.

MNA Shazia Murree said that no formula of water distribution, other than 1991 water accord, is acceptable to Sindh. Director IRSA informed that since 1994, when the country was facing water shortage, water is being distributed under 14B. In 2003, the provinces, with consensus, decided 3 tiers formula for the water distribution, Director Irsa, Khalid Idress, informed. He said that they have the letter written by the Member Sindh IRSA to the water regulatory body.

Secretary Irrigation Punjab said that 14B is also part of the water accord 1991 and it had not come from outside. ”If Sindh has problem with the distribution under 14B it should go to the CCI as it is not the right forum to amend the accord,” he added. Unless no new mega water reservoirs are constructed it is not possible to distribute water under Para 2 of the water accord, he maintained.

Former member Punjab IRSA Rao Irshad said that during the past 26-year water was never distributed under Para 2 of the 1991 water accord. The introduction of para 2 will increase the share of Sindh by 0.4 MAF while it will decrease Punjab share by 4 MAF, he added.

The official of Sindh Irrigation Department said that the Law Ministry has also declared water distribution under Para 2 is illegal. 

The Sindh parliamentarians said that Punjab is not providing their full share to provinces and they will raise the water distribution issue at every forum and they will also go to the World Bank to conduct water distribution study.

Secretary Irrigation Sindh Rafiq Deedar said that Sindh wants its share as per 1991 water accord and therefore there is no need to go to CCI. Since Punjab is getting its share in violation of 1991 water accord therefore it should go to CCI to verify its share, he added.