The controversy regarding construction of Kalabagh dam has been raging on since General Zia's period and all successive governments have failed to resolve this tricky issue. The ANP fears that the reservoir lake of Kalabagh dam would submerge most of the land in Pakhtoonkhwah province, especially the city of Nowshera and its environs. The Sindhis apprehend that lands in the lower riparian of River Indus would be deprived of their due share of water if the dam is built upstream. Both provinces think that only Punjab stands to gain from the dam. The project is neither fully abandoned nor looks like resuming anytime in the near future. It is in a state of uncertainty that has cost the nation heavily both in terms of the time lost and the money spent on it so far. A simple technical matter has been unnecessarily turned in to a huge political issue. I think the politicians are not the right set to decide matters so technical and it should be left purely to the judgment of professionals and technical experts to do as they see fit. As a first step, therefore, let there be a series of open debates/discussions on television between the panels of experts, the exponents and the opponents, so that the entire nation becomes aware of the technical details thoroughly. I am sure it would help a great deal informing and, eventually, forming the right opinion among the masses for or against it. The pressure of public opinion would, then, prevail upon their representatives to stand for the correct decision. I don't agree with the notion being advanced by politicians that only parliament can take a decision about any matter, whether it falls within its purview or not. -COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD), Rawalpindi, June 17.