LAHORE – Speaking in the context of Pakistan-India water talks, Punjab Agriculture Minister Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh says that the Federal Government is holding dialogue with the neighbour country without taking the Punjab Government into confidence.

Since the province is a major stake holder and is facing agriculture loses due to Indian water aggression, the PPP government must take Punjab on board while holding talks on water issues with India, he held while addressing a seminar on “Indian Water Aggression” at Hameed Nizami Hall here on Wednesday.

The seminar was organised in connection of World Water Day under the aegis of TheNation, Nawa-e-Waqt and Waqt News. Indus Water Council Chairman Hafiz Zahoor-ul-Hassan Dahar, Pakistan Water Movement Convenor Saifullah Mansoor and University of Engineering and Technology Professor Dr Zulfqar Ali were the other speakers. Saifullah Sipra was the moderated the session.

The speakers unanimously voiced against the Indian water aggression on Pakistan, asking the government to take up the matter with neighbour country on war footage. They demanded of the UNO and other international forums to stop India from destroying the historically rich civilization of Indus basin by blocking the river water flow towards Pakistan. They smelled an atomic war in the region if India continued with the same spirit of blocking water of Pakistan. Speakers also favoured the immediate need of constricting Kalabagh Dam.

Highlighting the need of building water resources for a country which mostly depend on agriculture, the minister regretted the past and present governments failed to construct dams but only two in shape of Tarbella and Mangla even after 60 years of country’s establishment.

“We have the best irrigation system in the world but are losing our agriculture land day by day due to our own negligence and also the neighbour country’s hostilities against Pakistan,” he said. The minister added that India was openly violating the Indus water treaty and that the international arbitrators were also taking side of the powerful. Describing his government’s steps for the improvement of water management, agriculture research etc, Mr Aulakh said that Punjab produced bumper crops of rice, wheat and cotton and there was no threat of food shortages in the province, he added.

He said that Punjab government had been working on the various agriculture projects of worth billion of rupees which would bring green revolution in the country in coming years. To a question, he replied the federal government was responsible of the high prices of fertilizers and it failed to control the Urea and other fertilizers in the benefit of the farmers.

Zahoor-ul-Hassan said that despite celebrating water days for during last 19 years, we did nothing to save our water. He said that Jews and Hindus were fanning the water issues all over the world to put the human being’s life at another danger and their agenda was nothing but accumulate wealth. He said that India was diverting the rivers’ flow from North to South to make fertile its barren land in Rajhistan and turn Pakistan’s land into infertile but the government was silent, he regretted.

Saifullah Mansoor said that the solution of Kashmir issue was the guarantee of ending water problems of the country, adding the Jihad was the guarantee to free Kashmir from India.

He held that every Pakistan would have to pledge for not to allow India to build dams of Pakistani rivers at any cost. Professor Zulfqar said that representatives of people and office bearers had failed miserably in protecting national interests particularly concerning projects of water storage and hydro-power generation. Today, he added, all the rivers in India are flowing whereas rivers of Pakistan had particularly become dry beds.