The speakers at a seminar said that impending water scarcity is the Pakistan’s biggest challenge but it is hardly discussed in Pakistani politics, and yet it constitutes one of the biggest challenges to Pakistan’s survival. With a projected population of 263 million in the year 2050, Pakistan needs to put serious thought into how it will provide adequate water for agriculture, industry, and human consumption in the face of rapidly dwindling reserves.

The Institution of Engineers Pakistan Lahore Centre Chairman Engr. Syed Khalid Sajjad, in his lecture, said that the non-availability of water and power is the biggest threat for any nation or country and Pakistan is also not an exception in this regard.

“Unfortunately our incompetent and corrupt high government servants do not seem to think beyond their own welfare rather than building the country and the nation. Pakistan has to prepare itself for its water security on an urgent war basis. The situation of water availability will gradually become more critical with approaching global warming, when the glacier melting will reduce the inflow in the rivers particularly Indus.

Khalid Sajjad said that the construction of big reservoir to store water which is presently going into the sea is the most important step. Unfortunately, no sites are available on the other rivers, however luckily there are good storage sites on the river Indus but the most suitable is at Kalabagh, the first big reservoir which is the most feasible in all respect whose construction can be started immediately.”  He said that the mismanagement of water will have its biggest impact on Pakistan’s agricultural sector. According to the World Bank, 43% of Pakistan’s employment is in the agricultural sector.

“No wrongly placed political arguments should hamper the water security of the country. All sects of life should help in developing consensus on this Dam.  This project will also produce large hydropower which can boost our economy and make the life of general public easier and happier.

He emphasized that the government should take immediate notice of his suggestion and take an early decision in the future interest of the country as we cannot afford to delay the building of this dam at all cost.

The storage capacity in Mangla and Tarbela dams is depleting. If we still stay mum on the situation, our future generation will have a right to curse us.”

Syed Khalid Sajjad said that India has natural advantage to control water of our rivers and is building dams in Kashmir despite the Indus Water Treaty. India was setting up a number of dams on Pakistani rivers.  It would soon be in the capacity to regulate water which was destined to reach Pakistan.  He said that instead of building our own large scale water reservoirs we take it as threat to our integrity.