I can’t help thinking that if Benazir Bhutto had not rejected Kalabagh dam and opted for the IPPs, things could have been very different today. There would have been no shortage of electricity, hence no load shedding, and no shortage of water, hence no food ‘shedding’. The tragedy is that, she not only stopped it from being built, then but has stopped it from being built ever, by politicising it! The topography of the country dictates that only a dam at the Kalabagh site can add to our water reserves at the earliest and also give us electricity. Without it Pakistan will never have enough electricity or enough water.

The fall out of load shedding and food are the economically and politically crippling long marches. The people naturally blame the present regime and not the regime which started the riot. The present one has only helped them to think so by maintaining a suicidal silence on the whole subject. While Zardari went around praising Benazir’s energy policy, there was never a peep out of the incumbent provincial rulers of Punjab. It is only when the shoe starts to pinch badly that the wearer stop in his tracks to think. Let us hope that happens before a point of no return is reached.


Lahore, August 16.