Imran Khan’s decision to regularize Tarbela dams electricity may start a provincial war. He said that Tarbela dam belongs to KPK and he will give first preference to the provinces power requirement before giving any electricity to the other provinces, and that too not free (will KPK also charge Sindh for 70% of the stored water it is using?). The question is, did KPK conceive, design and build Tarbela dam on its own? Did it hire foreign consultants to carry out the years of consultancy work that goes into building a dam, did it arrange funds from foreign donors, is it KPK that has paid back the billions of dollars that were borrowed to build the dam? Will KPK make similar claims about the power to be generated at Bhasha, Dasu, Bunji and Skardu dams?

Is KPK already not being compensated with billions of rupees in net hydel profit for the land acquired for the dam and for the people displaced? This is a very dangerous development as Sindh has also laid claim to the power companies in Sindh, it will also claim power from Thar Coal as its own. Going by this logic the Baluchistan government can shut off gas from the Sui field to the rest of the country and Punjab can make a case for building Kalabagh dam by itself.

National resources by their very definition belong to the nation and not to any one province, they must be used judiciously in the best interest of the nation. If the 18th Amendment says otherwise, it needs to be amended.


Lahore, January 1.