Our past history of over half a century shows that the only two mega dams, Tarbela and Mangla, which were built in the country were during the days of dictatorship, while not a single mega dam has been built in the past four decades by a succession of several civil and military governments. The last four decades saw not a single ruler, weather civil or army, brave enough to tackle the issue of rising need for energy and seek solution by building mega dams.

The decision not to build any dam has compounded the water availability problem as well as the power issue. Both these factors resulted in closure of industrial units and stagnation of agriculture productivity that could not match population increase and ever increasing demand of greater urban centres. It is a matter of record that all mega dams were built by strong central governments which faced the forces of provinces to decide crucial national issues in the larger interest of the nation not hamstrung by the dissident voices of provinces.

As such the Presidential system is near to Islamic system, wherein the President or in old times the Caliph or Amir was elected directly and was not subservient to views of his Majlis-i-Shoora which could be over-ruled by him like in the time of Hazrat Umer-i-Farooq’s (RA) when a vital national interest was at stake. Our so-called Western parliamentary democracy has not yet yielded a single mega dam, due to smaller provinces ganging up against the larger province to scuttle plans for a mega dam while the nation strives for a sterile consensus that is never built between the provinces due to political expediency of politicians. As such the prospects of prosperity are receding in the ever distant future due to inability of rulers to achieve a consensus due to their innate lack of will while the apex court silently observes the decline in our financial viability. We are ready to buy power from our erstwhile enemy at Rs. 16/- per unit while it is produced on our rivers flowing in the neighbour’s territory at Rs. 1.22/- per unit. What greater travesty of affairs there could be in agreeing to such a proposal that undermines the very existence of Pakistan?

DR. M. YAQOOB BHATTI,

Lahore, July 15.