For all the leaders who had for one reason or the other opposed or rather showed their disinterest in Kalabagh dam, Lahore High Court’s clear and categorical statement that the project is necessary to grapple with the energy crisis, this ought to be a moment of reflection and review. It turns out that they are guilty of a crime that has hit each one of us, all those who suffer lack of electricity and water, even those who got hit by floods. Clearly, to a large part, it is they who are responsible for the present state of the shortfall that has affected the economic life of the entire country.

The court’s words are truly most damning indictment of the politicians who have laboriously bemoaned that the issue is a fractious one between the provinces. One fully agrees with the court that crucial projects of national importance could not just be sacrificed at the altar of politics. Yet another observation that the court made was that if the dam is built it would save the country from floods. What now needs to be done is for the government – that itself has recognised the project’s importance –to initiate talks with the dissidents, arrive at a consensus and get down with the construction work. With the backing of the LHC as such there is no illegality it would be committing by going for it. This needs to be done quickly, for a report by Wapda, indeed by several research organisations that soon Pakistan would figure on the list of countries facing dire water shortage leaves hardly any room for procrastination.