LAHORE - The speakers at a seminar on the 'World Water Day-2009' unanimously demanded the government to immediately construct Kalabagh Dam by developing national consensus on this issue. They said the construction of Kalabagh Dam would help the provinces bury their water disputes and would also fulfil the rising electricity demand in the country. They were of the view that the engineers should also be taken into the confidences besides the politicians as far the constructing the dam at Kalabagh is concerned. The theme of the seminar held under the aegis of Institute of Engineers Pakistan (IEF) here on Sunday, was "Shared water Shared opportunities". Engineer Prof Dr Mubashar Hassan was the chief guest on this occasion. Addressing the participants, Dr Mubashar Hassan said provision of clean water to the people had always been a top priority of every government but the rulers did not take practical steps in this regard and ignored the issue. He said it was a matter of grave concern that Pakistan despite having vast water resources did not construct water reservoirs and every year millions of acre-feet flood water was wasted to sea, he said. He further said the government should take concrete steps immediately to construct water reservoirs in order to overcome energy shortage in the country and to ensure provision of clean water to the masses. President Institute of Engineers Pakistan (IEF) Engineer Aftab Islam Agha said the Kalabagh dam should be constructed by developing national consensus in the country and the engineers should also be included in the committee. He also said during the flood season 50 million acre-feet (MAF) water causes devastation in the country and finally follows to the sea, unutilised and in wasteful manners. Ironically, he said, we have not added any water storage since Tarbela Dam was built. He said, "If the politicians would have agreed to build the Kalabagh Dam, it could have brought an end to energy short fall", adding that due to their political interests, neither the government nor the opposition appeared to be serious about the water storages. He warned, "If no additional water storage is built soon, we would be spending almost all our foreign exchange on import of food items in the near future". He said India had started building some dams on River Indus. These dams would not only reduce the water flow but also pose a threat of flash floods in the Northern Areas. "Our water planners are hoping against the hope that India would operate these dams as per treaty provisions thus not affecting water supplies to Pakistan but history is not on their side, as Baghliar Dam has already caused shortage of thousands of cusecs of water to Pakistan", he added. While opposing, Indians, to construct dams on their own side, we also need to harness our own resources as well as we have many identified sites on Indus River, Aftab Islam maintained. Other experts including Chaudhry Wali Mohammad, Engineer Sarfraz Ahmed and Engineer Khurshid Riaz emphasised Pakistan should force India not to violate the Indus Water Treaty. They also urged the government to make India realise that Pakistan could guard its share of water in a better way and India should not look towards Pakistani water.