Let us assume that the PML-N government announces today that it will build the Kalabagh Dam (KBD). PML-N will lose all its vote bank in provinces like Sindh and KPK, any alliances made on the understanding that the dam will not be built without consensus will fall apart. Even the whole of Punjab is not with PML-N on the issue of KBD. This will leave PML-N Punjab alone in support of KBD. Sindh will take its case as the lower riparian to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will rule that the dam cannot be built without developing consensus among all the provinces. And we will be back to square one.

Before the dam can be built the opposition to the dam has to be tackled, people have to be told that the apprehensions of the smaller provinces are not based on facts, they have to be told what shortage of water can do to the country, they have to be told of the benefit of billions of dollars that we are losing every day for the last 20 years. This requires a concerted effort on the part of the intelligentsia and the experts to reach out to the people with the help of the print and electronic media.


Lahore, February 1.