PESHAWAR - The Awami National Party (ANP) has said in categorical terms that it strongly opposes the construction of Kalabagh Dam, as it is against Pakistan's interest.

"ANP will not budge an inch from its stand opposing the dam," said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's spokesman and Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain while talking to TheNation here.

He termed the dam construction a conspiracy, which would be foiled at all costs. To stop this project, which, he termed a controversial one, all constitutional, legal and parliamentary ways would be utilized.

An elected prime minister has repeatedly said that KBD has been buried forever. However, resurfacing of the KDB, a dead issue, he said, was not in the interest of the nation and Pakistan as well.

Iftikhar reminded that during the PML-N's government, three federating units - KPK, Sindh and Baluchistan, have strongly opposed the KBD, resultantly, the then premier Nawaz Sharif had to announce that KBD would not be built until developing consensus among provinces over it.

If three provinces, he said, were against the KBD, then, why should not focus is given to Bhasha Dam, so as to overcome the existing power outage issue in the country. "ANP thinks that construction of KBD is against the federation, nation and Pakistan," he maintained.

ANP's Senator Zahid Khan, while talking to media persons, said that the LHC's decision was likely to create rifts between the provinces. He said that the project would hurt the interest of KPK and submerge its most fertile land.

He also said that his party would oppose KBD to the last breath. He said that the ANP would offer the same sacrifices again as it did in its fight against terrorism.

Indeed, it is need of the hour to build new dams. It's either KBD or any other dam, we must develop consensus first, PPP KPK President MPA Anwar Saifullah said while replying to a query on the issue.

The KBD is actually a technical issue rather than a political one, he added. If dams are not constructed, the country could face starvation in future. "We will strongly oppose any dam, if that is dangerous for us," he said, adding if a dam is viable and resources are available, then, the government must build it. Saifullah said that those who have been claiming since long that Nowshera would inundate, if KBD is constructed. However, it is also true that Nowshera has also been flooded in 2010.

Talking to media persons, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) KPK President MPA Sikandar Sherpao said that his party opposed the construction of KBD and considered a conspiracy against the federation. He said that three provinces have time and again opposed the KBD, so, it should not be built until consensus is developed, as provinces opposing the dam, have passed resolutions against the KBD on different occasions.

KPK PML-N General Secretary Rehmat Salam Khattak said that it was necessary to construct new dams, but consensus for that was too must. The federal government should take steps for developing consensus on KBD, while provinces too stop blindly opposition of the project. In this connection, he said that after reviewing through technical experts, the government would be in a better position to decide after knowing advantages and disadvantages of dams including KBD, he concluded.