ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court yesterday reserved its judgment on a petition for the construction of Kalabagh Dam, saying the issue had become political, so it would not interfere in it.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, heard a petition filed by Engineers Study Forum under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution. AK Dogar, representing the Engineers Study Forum, argued the construction of Kalabagh Dam was of public importance and the petition filed under Article 184 (3) pertained to fundamental rights. Justice Gulzar Ahmed Khan, a member of the bench, said this issue had become political, while the chief justice said they would not interfere in the policy matter.  Dogar said the court could advise the parliament in this regard in view of its public importance. He feared Pakistan would face a severe water crisis in the next 10 years if Kalabagh Dam was not constructed. He contended floods could be averted if the dam was constructed.

However, the court, after hearing the arguments, reserved the judgment and ordered the counsel to submit the written statement.

On January 9, 2015, a bench headed by former chief justice Nasirul Mulk, dismissed identical petitions for the construction of Kalabagh Dam, with the observation that it was responsibility of the government to convene a meeting of Council of Common Interests to resolve the issue.

KBD is a hydroelectric dam proposed to be constructed on the River Indus at Kalabagh in Mianwali district. Intensely debated and deemed a necessity, the dam, if built, would have 3,600 megawatts of electricity generation capacity.